Avenue keep Ryde Lawn in check in Portsmouth Winter Ladies League over Christmas period
Avenue 1sts enjoyed the upper hand over Ryde Lawn 1sts in their two Portsmouth Winter Ladies League matches over the festive period.
They defeated visiting Ryde 3-1 just before Christmas and in their first match of 2020 suffered a losing draw on the Isle of Wight.
Anna Newman and Natalie Denby won both their rubbers in both matches.
But Jenny Smith and Viola Masona won a close tie break set for Avenue against Sarah Hill and Lynn Sandy and that was enough to give them the winning draw points on home soil.
Also in the top ladies division, Lee 1sts eased past Chichester to remain on course to retain the title.
Warsash 1sts, having their best season for some years, are clinging to their coat tails and a 4-0 success against Lee 2nds left them well placed in second position and with games in hand.
Ryde Mead ladies have had a slow start in division three, with several matches postponed due to bad weather.
They finally recorded their first win of the season with a comprehensive victory over Wickham, winning all four rubbers for the loss of just 12 games.
Southsea also played two matches, in division five, over the Christmas holidays.
Their first match saw Sally Atkins and Annette Footman-Williams edge a very close final rubber against Chichester’s Janet Briggs and Carol Berry to give them a 3-1 win overall.
In their first game of 2020, they thrashed Avenue 4ths for the loss of just 10 games.
Ryde Lawn 3rds, though, continue to dominate this division.
They could only share the rubbers and sets with Sarisbury Green, but managed to win three more games overall to claim the winning draw points.
Action in the Men’s leagues was restricted to the lower divisions, with Canoe Lake 4ths reversing an early-season division four defeat to Fishbourne by winning 4-0.
Avenue 3rds drew 2-2 with Chichester 2nds in the same division, but the latter hoovered up the winning draw points when Tony Walsh and Gerald Edwards won a set off Neil Connah and Martyn Lawrenson in their losing rubber.
There was another close match in division five, Ryde Mead 2nds and JEM Tennis 3rds sharing the rubbers 2-2 and the sets 5-5.
Both the reverse rubbers went to match tie breaks, with each team winning one, with Mead winning on countback 37-34 on games.
Lee’s mixed doubles team are taking division one by storm.
With Aaron Blackman and Chloe Efford in sparkling form, backed up by Nathan Humphries and April Brown, they overcame a strong Ryde Lawn team 4-0 and now look firm title favourites.
However, they will still have to overcome perennial mixed double champions Warsash, who thrashed another strong Avenue team 4-0.
Warsash and Avenue’s 2nd Mixed League teams also played two matches over the holiday period.
Warsash entertained Ryde Lawn 2nds, with three of the four rubbers going to match tie breaks. But Warsash won the last two for a 3-1 overall victory in a match where both sides won 39 games
In the post-Christmas match, against Avenue 2nds, Warsash lost both the reverse rubbers on match tie breaks to suffer a 3-1 defeat.
Avenue were also in action the following day, trouncing JEM Tennis 4-0.
Avenue’s 3rd mixed team moved to the top of Division 3 following a 3-1 success against Southsea, but they have played more games than the chasing pack.
Rowlands Castle moved to the top of Mixed Division 4 after claiming a winning draw against Warsash 3rds.
Matt Bennett and Caron Howe won both their rubbers for Rowlands and Roger Castle and Dawn Wears took a set in each of their losing rubbers for a 6-4 set win on countback.