After four Portsmouth Tennis League matches, Avenue and Warsash end level on rubbers, sets AND games!

A few weeks ago, I reported on the third of four Portsmouth & District ‘Restart’ Tennis League matches between Avenue and Warsash in the Men’s midweek masters league.

By Community Sport Reporter
Thursday, 26th August 2021, 11:46 am
Lee v Sarisbury Green ladies (from left): Deanna Tarrant, Jen Lake, Sarah Pearse, Cath Austin, Mary Colquhoun, Jacqui Clarke, Cheryl Goater, Steph Martin
Lee v Sarisbury Green ladies (from left): Deanna Tarrant, Jen Lake, Sarah Pearse, Cath Austin, Mary Colquhoun, Jacqui Clarke, Cheryl Goater, Steph Martin

The first two matches had finished with the rubbers shared 2-2 with Avenue claiming a countback win in the first and Warsash a similar win in the second, writes ALAN BEST.

The third match ended in a rare draw, with rubbers, sets and games all shared equally. At that stage the total number of games won over the three matches was also level.

In the deciding encounter, Warsash started in style. On the unfamiliar grass surface, both their pairs won the opening rubbers, with a games difference of 13.

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Lee v Warsash men (from left): Matt Rogers, Dan Eldred, Olllie Brind, Chris Cunningham, Matt Pond, Max Parr- Daniels. Missing S Pittman and Andy Herrod- Taylor (photographer)

Surely, they were home and dry now? But not necessarily!

David Spink and Stu Wiles found their form and overturned John Tims and David Marsh, crucially for the loss of six games.

Rob Mort and Mark Fullstone took the first set off Trevor Spence and Steve Quinn, losing three games, and all of a sudden the unlikely outcome of a second successive tie dawned.

Warsash’s Spence and Quinn held the Avenue pair to 2-2 in the final set. One more game

would give Warsash the match, and the overall series of four. But Mort and Fullstone proceeded to win the last four games to bring about a remarkable second tie. Perhaps even more remarkably, the four-game series ended exactly level on rubbers, sets and games!

It might be something to do with playing on grass, but Avenue were involved in a second thrillingly close match in the ladies midweek masters.

Both the opening rubbers went to match tie breaks, with Caron Howe and Dawn Wears winning the first for Avenue while Caroline Hardy and Wendy Evans clocked up a win for Canoe Lake in the second. At this stage the games were also level at 22 each.

Howe and Wears raced away with a 6-0 first set win in the 1’s v 1’s match, but they couldn’t sustain the momentum and Hardy/ Evans fought back to win the second set and then the tie break.

With everything now resting on the final rubber, Nicolette Lock and Sarah Long shared the first two sets with Dawn De Wilde and Karen Claeys. But Lock and Long were just too consistent in the tie break, winning it to level the rubbers at 2-2 and the sets at 6-6. The games added up in Avenue’s favour, though, so they took the winning draw points.

The other two matches played, while still competitive, couldn’t match the excitement of the first two.

Lee’s men’s 1 match against Avenue saw two match tie breaks - Ollie Brind and Chris Cunningham winning one for Lee but losing the other.

Matt Rogers and Dan Eldridge had a relatively comfortable time winning their two rubbers and Lee strolled home 3-1 overall.

Lee ladies 4 backed up the men’s win with a comfortable victory over Sarisbury Green. The Lee partnerships - Deanne Tarrant/ Cath Austin and Jen Lake/ Sarah Pearse - won all four rubbers without dropping a set.