Essex were looking to cement second place with a good performance at Cambridge but could not manage a away victory and suffered a 26-14 defeat.
The away side got of to a terrible start in the first session as in-form Pauline Child lost out narrowly 12-10. The loses continued as Roger Dover lost out 13-20, with the pairs following in the footsteps as Dave Amoss and Shirley Walker suffered a 15-10 loss. The other pairing went down heavily as Frank Amoss and Phil Banner went down 21-8. With Essex still in shock the home side took an early 8-0 lead and the visitors had it all to do in the second session.
The second session was a much better performance by Essex to steady the ship and bring them back into the game. With wins for both fours as Shirley Banner, Maxine Horn, Rose Hambelton and Peter Debenham won convincingly 13-2. The other four Rachael Cordy, Danny Curl, Paul Cairns and Peggy May also won well with a 13-9 win. The triples also continued the winning streak as Rita Blackhall, Eileen Smith-Allen and Pat Goodchild won comfortably 17-7. Although the other triple could complete a clean sweep as Stewart Blackhall, Heather Amoss and Brian Daley narrowly lost out 12-10. The score line was balanced out at the break with Essex only trailing 10-6 after their bad start.
In the third session Essex showed once again they were not going to lie down with the tight games swinging towards the away side. With two closely fought matches for Pauline and Roger but both came out on top in the end both winning by the same score 13-12. But unfortunately lost out on the bonus points. The pairs also responded as Frank and Phil make up for their early lose and won 17-11. Although Dave and Shirley could not complete the sweep as they lost 21-12, also losing the bonus points in the pairs too. Going in to the final session Essex were still trailing 16-12, but were still in with a chance in the final session.
However the final session did not go to plan with another poor session as Cambridge took all four mats. After a good win for Rita, Eileen and Pat in their first they could only manage a 11-7 defeat. The other triple also suffered a loss as Stewart, Heather and Brian lost 13-5 resulting in the bonus points going to the home side. The fours could not stop the rot as Shirley, Maxine, Rose and Peter went down 11-5 and Rachael, Danny, Paul and Peggy also fell to a 11-6 lose. The fours however kept their losses to a minimum and snatched the bonus points in the fours after their earlier wins.
Essex A went down 26-14 after getting them selves back in to the game going to the last session but just let the game slip away from them. This keeps them second but more pressure is put on them to get a good score at home to Norfolk only being nine points in front of Suffolk to secure their place in the knockouts.