Warsash tennis players back with a bang as Canoe Lake are swept aside in Portsmouth Winter League

So, after three months of inactivity, the Portsmouth Tennis Leagues returned to action with a bang.

Friday, 16th April 2021, 10:58 am
Warsash and Canoe Lake teams. Back (from left): Mike Harrold, Rob Ellison, John Checker, Greg Harrold, Martyn Cox, Jay Smith, Trevor Spence. Front: Martin Wilkinson, Ian Udal, Matt Pond, Tim Clark, Oli Perigo, Stu Gray, Sam li, Terry Lawrence.

Or to be fair, four teams from Warsash Tennis Club and their opponents did, writes ALAN BEST.

The Men’s first team, perennial winners of winter leagues, showed no mercy to Canoe Lake, turning out one of their strongest teams to notch up a 4-0 victory.

Playing as if they had never had a break, Warsash’s top pair of Ian Udal and Martin Wilkinson swept aside both Lake pairs for the loss of just nine games.

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Second pair Matt Pond and Sam Li were made to work a little harder, dropping a set to Tim Clark and Stu Gray before clinching the rubber of a match tie break.

Warsash 2 v Lake 3 took place on an adjacent court and, although Warsash triumphed again, they were made to work hard.

The opening rubbers followed a common pattern, with the respective first pairs overcoming the second pairs.

In the reverse rubbers Warsash’s father and son pairing of Mike and Greg Harrold beat Jay Smith and Robin Ellison 6-3, 6-1. But the final rubber, between Warsash’s Trevor Spence and Michael Isaacs - sporting just short of 150 years

between them - were pushed hard for over two hours before overcoming the considerably younger John Chequer and Martyn Cox, though the latter was hampered by a heel injury.

Not to be left out of the restart party, Warsash Ladies 3 hosted Wickham in another close match.

Nicky Carde and Katie Chamberlaine won both their rubbers for Wickham but with Denise Franks and Jan Grant having beaten Wickham’s second pair in the opening rubber, the match went down to the final rubber.

Janet Beal and Claire Wilkinson fought long and hard to claim a point for the home team, but Maggie Allan and Annette McHugh had just enough experience to clinch a crucial tie break, and with it the victory for Wickham.

The final weekend match saw Warsash’s mixed team take on Southsea. Trevor Spence, in action twice over the weekend, partnered Janet Armitage to a win against Dan Lee and Emily Last but the Warsash pair couldn’t repeat the feat against Southsea’s top two, losing in straight sets.

Nigel Kirkham and Sheena Quinn also won one rubber and lost the other, as the match finished level on both sets and rubbers - Southsea edging home as they won 35-31 on games.

There was action in midweek as well, with Canoe Lake ladies trouncing Avenue 4-0. Lake’s top pair, Caroline Hardy and Sue Price, won both their rubbers on match tie breaks, while second pair Betty Corbet and Amanda Freeman won both theirs in straight sets.