LAST weekend’s blustery conditions didn’t seem to worry runaway Portsmouth & District LTA ladies’ division one leaders Ventnor.
They easily dismissed the challenge of Avenue’s second team, who are finding life in the top division very difficult.
With last year’s captain, Alice Robson, absent for much of the season, reigning champions Avenue 1 are also struggling.
They were beaten 3-1 by Lee 1 at the weekend, severely denting their chances of retaining their title.
And in the battle of the bottom two teams, Ryde Lawn 1’s 4-0 win condemned Warsash 2 to a fifth successive defeat.
PTA are another team who are finding life hard in a higher division, going down 4-0 to Seacourt 1 on this occasion.
Matches between Rowlands Castle and Lee 3 ladies are traditionally close – and last week’s match was no exception.
Rowlands snatched a slight advantage after the first shared set of rubbers.
They started well in the reverse rubbers, with Liz Marenghi and Dreen Chestnutt taking the first set off Laura Regan and Patsy Scarborough by 6-2.
Another set would have given Castle the match victory, but Marenghi and Chestnutt collapsed to lose the second set 6-0 – and then they narrowly failed to take to match tie-break, allowing Lee to win 3-1.
Avenue 3 enjoyed a good 3-1 win over Ventnor 2. Nicolette Lock and Sean Prior claimed two rubbers, with Linda Wainwright and Denise Simper the third.
Avenue’s men didn’t fare much better than the ladies – their first team going down 3-1 to reigning champions Warsash 1 who have now edged ahead in the title race.
However, summer league champions JEM Tennis Hamble kept their hopes alive with a 4-0 win over Priory 1.
Ryde Lawn 2 also secured a 4-0 win, this time in men’s two, over Warsash 2.
The win puts them level with PTA and Lee 1 at the top.
Newcomers Denmead continue to dominate men’s division three – this time defeating Seacourt 2, who could only muster nine games between them.
Lee 3 recovered from a shaky start to the season to record their first win – 3-1 against JEM Hamble 2 – while Chichester 2 were similar winners over Warsash 3.
PTA’s mixed team recorded one he biggest winning margins for some time, with Warsash 3 winning just four games.
And Warsash 2 didn’t do much better, also losing 4-0 to Ryde Lawn 2.
Ryde Lawn 3 couldn’t match the performance of the seconds, going down by 4-0 to Avenue 2, while the longest match of the day was an 11-set marathon between Rowlands Castle 1 and Chichester – with the former just snatching victory.
A gale-force wind at Alverstoke made their match against Sarisbury Green something of a lottery, but the away team chose their numbers with slightly more care to come away with a 3-1 win.
Sarisbury were also in action in the masters league, losing 2-0 to Avenue 1, while Chichester beat newbies Fishbourne 1 3-1.