Andy Long and Steve Carter set JEM Hamble apart from Denmead in Portsmouth & District League

Andy Long and Steve Carter gave JEM Hamble the edge against Denmead in Portsmouth & District League men’s division one, writes Alan Best.

Thursday, 18th July 2019, 3:43 pm
Updated Friday, 19th July 2019, 12:04 am
Aaron Blackman was unable to stop JEM Hamble edging out Denmead's

The title rivals went into the clash defending unbeaten records.

And there was little to choose between them after the first round of rubbers.

JEM carried a slender one-game lead into the reverse contests.

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Shaun de Jong and Tom Wotjack then gave them the lead with a straight-sets win over Aaron Blackman and Joe Pace.

But after three hours of play the deciding rubber, Long and Carter were level at 1-1 with Denmead’s Andy Efford and James Craven.

The latter pair went on to prevail – levelling the match at 2-2.

However, the set won by Long and Carter saw JEM claim the winning draw 5-4 on sets.

The ladies’ division two match between Wickham and Warsash was also a long one.

But on this occasion, the delay was the result of an injury to one of the Wickham players.

Warsash generously allowed their stricken rival time to recover.

And their generosity went unrewarded as Wickham took the reverse rubbers to win the match 3-1.

Alverstoke and Rowlands Castle had reason to thank Ryde Lawn III.

After a 10-set marathon in blazing sunshine, the Isle of Wight outfit drew 2-2 with Avenue III.

Ryde took the winning draw points with a 6-4 advantage on sets.

And that result means no-one can now catch the top two, Alverstoke and Rowlands Castle, who face off next week for the title.