Portsmouth’s intrepid tennis players defied the gales to make sure their matches were played last weekend.
Special mention should be given to the men’s teams from Ventnor, who crossed the Solent to play in almost impossible conditions on the seafront at Canoe Lake.
Meanwhile, Avenue II sailed the other way to face the 40 mph gales on Ryde.
Both teams, however, were well beaten and got no reward for their efforts, other than the grateful thanks from their opposition for turning out in such foul weather.
Canoe Lake’s 4-0 win over Ventnor secured their own position in the top division for another season, while at the same time condemning their opposition to a quick return to division two.
In that second tier, Lee II eased past Alverstoke to claim a winning draw and keep alive the club’s hopes of completing a clean sweep of the top three men’s divisions – their first and third teams having already clinched divisions one and three.
Ed Percival and Richard Wheeler won both their rubbers for Alverstoke – enough to win them a point.
But they took three sets to overcome Lee’s Mark Wallis and Chris Cunningham and that dropped set was enough to allow Lee to claim the extra winning draw point.
Ryde Lawn II followed up their two-match wet weekend last week with a comfortable 4-0 victory over Avenue II.
The win takes them to the top the division and killed off any lingering promotion hopes for their opponents.
However, Lee 2 need only a winning draw against Ryde Mead in this weekend’s match to clinch the title.
Ryde Mead completed their season with a 3-1 victory over Alverstoke in ladies’ division four.
And with Avenue III registering a 4-0 win over wooden-spoonists, Ryde Lawn III, Alverstoke are now in grave danger of relegation, having been promotion candidates just three weeks ago.
They must now rely on Ryde beating fellow relegation candidates Rowlands Castle by at least 3-1 to avoid the drop.
Two mixed matches survived the weather.
In division two, Avenue II coped with the winds rather better than Warsash II, returning home with a 3-1 success and keeping their outside promotion hopes alive.
And in division four, Carlton Green II came out on top in the head-to-head battle with Alverstoke for the divisional title.
The first round of rubbers was shared, as often happens, but Carlton controlled the reverse rubbers from the outset, winning them both in straight sets.
That was enough to give them a 3-1 victory.
Avenue will take home the division one championship trophy.
They rounded off their first season in the ladies’ midweek masters with a 4-0 win over Warsash.
Carlton Green followed up their weekend success with a 4-0 win over Ryde Lawn III in midweek mixed division two.
- ALAN BEST