Avenue book Solent Cup showdown

Aaron Butcher with his Road To Wimbledon trophy following coutny glory

Butcher smashes county rivals to clinch Wimbledon invite

  • Robson leads ladies to Portsmouth League division one title
  • Comfortable defeat of Ryde Lawn seals top-flight crown
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Avenue clinched the Portsmouth & District League ladies’ division one title with a convincing 4-0 win over rivals Ryde Lawn.

Ventnor – the other team in contention – defeated Seacourt 4-0 but had to settle for second spot.

The enthusiasm of Avenue’s young skipper, Alice Robson, has clearly rubbed off on Evie Howarth, Jenny Smith, Anna Newman, Sadia Meyer and Katy Rowley.

Robson’s team will now take on Southampton League champions Winchester in the Solent Cup on April 18.

Avenue II beat Ryde’s second string in an 11-set thriller.

Everything rested on the final rubber between Bobbie Cousens and Francis Palmer and Ryde’s Jenny Boswell and Kathie Abrams.

Cousens and Palmer prevailed 6-1, 6-2 to claim the match by six sets to five to set up a title decider against Warsash II on March 22.

Seacourt eased to a 3-1 victory over Lee in men’s division one – which should be enough to see them stay in the top tier for another year.

Lee III killed off Chichester II’s hopes of promotion from division four in another nail-biter – claiming the title in the process.

Les Ainley and Jim Clark helped Lee fight back from a slow start – and their double sealed success on games won.

The club’s mixed team could not match the men as they ended a disappointing season with successive losses.

They went down 4-0 to Ventnor and 3-1 at Avenue – results which condemned them to the drop into mixed division two next winter.

In the second tier, Ryde Mead continued their promotion challenge with a dominant 4-0 success against Rowlands Castle.

Rowlands Castle II lost to Sarisbury Green in division three.

But only after losing two match tie-breaks – one finishing 22-20 and including 15 squandered match points!