Curtain rises on Portsmouth & District Winter Tennis League with raft of close encounters
The Portsmouth & District LTA Winter League season was gently eased in with five closely-fought matches.
The top match saw 2015 champions Avenue host Warsash in a division 1 clash.
The opening rubbers were shared with identical sets scores, but both the Lee pairings proved to be stronger in the reverse rubbers.
Lauren Howard and Victoria Pine eased past Anna Newman and Natalie Denby 6-2 6-1, while Cathie Russell and Nikki Eldridge overcame Viola Masona and Gill Clarke 6-2 6-4.
Injury concerns meant that Ventnor, champions in 2016 and 2018, were unable to enter a team last winter. As a result, they now find themselves in division 2.
However, they started the season with a solid 3-1 win over Seacourt.
Once again, the opening rubbers were shared, but Ventnor claimed a set advantage when Linda Jones and Heather Higson lost their rubber to Caroline McDowell and Sue Edwards but won a set.
Ventnor’s Michelle Parker and Mia Gerty followed up their win over Sharon Davies and Jane Robertson by beating McDowell and Edward. Jones and Higson sealed the match with a straight sets win over Davies and Robertson.
The third division clash between Wickham and Fishbourne continued the close match theme as both the opening rubbers went to match tie breaks.
Fishbourne’s Shaz Morris and Kate Gurl edged out Rona Thurston and Gill Annable while Maggie Allan and Katie Chamberlain reversed the result for Wickham, beating Rachel Dekker and Faye Jones.
Morris and Gurl then beat Thurston and Annable 6-2 6-0, leaving the match to be decided on the final rubber.
Allan and Chamberlain won the first set, but Dekker and Jones levelled and then went on to claim the tie break.
The only mixed match saw Ryde Mead 2 cross the Solent to take on a Titterington-dominated Alverstoke team.
Father and daughter combination Chris and Laura lost their first rubber to Mead’s top pair, but fought back to beat Mead’s No 2s.
Mother Sue played with Gordon Gutteridge, and they won their first rubber 2-1 before going down by straight sets in the reverse rubber.
That left the match 2-2 but Mead claimed the winning draw points by winning 5 sets to 4.
The male side of the Titterington family were back in action with Chris teaming up with son Carl to take on Warsash 3, winning both their rubbers.
Their second pair - Gordon Gutteridge, another playing two games in two days, and Tim Gully - were unable to claim the rubber needed to secure all three points.
But they did take a set off Mike Betteridge and Nick St John and that set was enough to give them the two winning draw points.
Hardy souls at Chichester played through the showers to complete their O45 club tournament.
Men’s Singles: Winner Craig Hindmarsh (R/Up Peter Cook)
Ladies’ Singles: Winner Katica Robertson ( Ileana Melendez-Ruiz)
Men’s Doubles: Winners David Buzzard/Tig Carvalho (Adam Kamruddin/Michael Gilson)
Ladies’ Doubles: Winners Katica Robertson/Gilly Stuart-Smith (Ileana Melendez-Ruiz/Debbie Draper)
Mixed Doubles: Winners Katica Robertson/Justin Pollard (Sara Smyth/Craig Hindmarsh)
Photo shows Finalists in Chichester O45 Tournament