Hamble remain on course for title after nailbiting win

Ryde Lawn II were triumphant in the masters competition

Ryde Lawn II were triumphant in the masters competition

Dan Evans

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JEM Hamble had to fight all the way to beat Avenue and keep their Portsmouth & District League men’s division one title challenge on track.

With key player Zander Woodford-Smith missing, they were taken to the brink by the young Havant outfit before winning 5-4 on sets.

After the opening two rubbers were shared, JEM’s second pair – Mark Turl and Andy Long – took a set off Chris Green and Jason Ellis.

And that proved priceless when the reverse rubbers also ended level.

Mathematically, Hamble can still be caught but it would take an unlikely run of results in the final matches.

In men’s division three, Seacourt II beat Rowlands Castle 3-1.

Graham Cole and Ian Collier showed their strength – losing just seven games on their way to a double.

Chichester overcame Warsash III 4-0 in their best display of the season in mixed division three.

They will now battle it out with Southsea for the second promotion spot on the final day of the season.

Meanwhile, Stubbington tied another game on rubbers and sets – this time against Carlton.

It’s the seventh time it has happened to Stubbington in 12 matches – and they haven’t won any on countback.

They are getting closer though. Two weeks ago they lost by two games and this week it was just one.

Mixed division four remains wide open after JEM Hamble II guaranteed a promotion place with a 4-0 win over Alverstoke.

Rowlands Castle’s 3-1 defeat to Wickham means four teams still have a chance of claiming the second promotion spot, including sixth-placed Avenue V.

The midweek masters competition is hotting up.

The league format ended with Warsash on top of division A and Avenue at the summit of the B division.

A series of play-off matches are now in progress to determine overall positions from one to 10.

Warsash II beat the combined Carlton outfit and Sarisbury Green await the winners of Avenue and Ryde Lawn for the right to claim the championship crown.

Chichester are into the fifth-place play-off after beating Avenue II.

They will meet Ryde Lawn II, who overcame Rowlands Castle 4-0.

Castle take on Avenue II for seventh, while Southsea and Warsash finished 2-2 in the first leg of their wooden spoon play-off.

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