Portsmouth have missed influential duo

Sue Price competing in the Portsmouth Tennis League.  Picture: Neil Marshall (171040-1)
Sue Price competing in the Portsmouth Tennis League. Picture: Neil Marshall (171040-1)

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Butcher smashes county rivals to clinch Wimbledon invite

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PORTSMOUTH have been hit by the unavailability of their top two players Debbie Berry and Viola Masona.

The ladies have not been able to play in many games this season.

They were in inspirational form last season helping the Portsmouth Tennis Academy (PTA) to promotion.

Since then the team has struggled in the top tier of the Portsmouth League with their star duo playing only two matches.

Berry and Masona were absent when PTA went down to their seventh loss in succession, this time to Lee first team.

Caroline Hardy and Leah Clifton, playing at number one, instead of the absent duo, pushed Lee’s Mandy Reid and Donna Davies very hard.

But the Lee duo won 7-5, 6-3 and Lee easily controlled the other rubbers to run out 4-0 winners.

Rowlands Castle wrapped up the midweek mixed masters’ division two title when they scraped home in a tough match against Ryde Mead.

Five of the 10 sets played went to tie breaks and Ryde were unfortunate to lose all five, leaving Rowlands 4-0 winners.

Warsash won the men’s and mixed first division championships and their ladies backed that up by winning the inaugural midweek masters ladies league.

JEM Tennis Hamble pushed them close, with second place finishes in the men’s and mixed first division while their second mixed team won the division two title.

Rowlands Castle Ladies edged a thrilling race for the third division title by beating runners up Stubbington.

This included a winner takes all set watched by some 20 Rowlands supporters.

Castle have also done well in mixed division three.

Southsea are proud of their performances.

Despite having to now compete with the newly formed – and successful in its own right – Canoe Lake, Southsea ladies one will finish no worse than second in division two.

They could still win the title, while their ladies’ seconds won division four.

PTA and Priory men’s fought a season long battle to be top dogs in division two, PTA just gaining the upper hand, but both teams will take their places in the top division next summer.

Ventnor had a good season in division three to secure promotion after a tough start.

– ALAN BEST