Champions brought crashing back to earth – Portsmouth Winter Tennis League round-up

Having clinched the Portsmouth Winter League Ladies Division 2 title with a win against nearest challengers Warsash 2nds recently, Chichester 2nds were brought crashing back to earth.

By Community Sport Reporter
Thursday, 17th March 2022, 4:16 pm
Southsea v Ryde Lawn 3 (from left) Richard Libby, Emily Last, Clare Keiditsch, Helen Peak, Geoff George (behind Helen), John Kemble (back), Emma Wheeler, Stuart Brett
Southsea v Ryde Lawn 3 (from left) Richard Libby, Emily Last, Clare Keiditsch, Helen Peak, Geoff George (behind Helen), John Kemble (back), Emma Wheeler, Stuart Brett

CourtX romped to a convincing 4-0 victory with Lynn Candlish and Amanda Freeman dropping just four games in the four sets they played, writes ALAN BEST.

The crunch match between JEM Tennis and Active Academy in Ladies Division 4 went the way of the former, almost entirely due to the 6-0 6-0 defeat that No 1 pair Liz Sherwood and Mia Rosser handed out to Active’s second string. Rachel Heda and Poppy Marsden fought back for Active, winning both their rubbers - one against Sherwood and Rosser - in straight sets.

But they were unable to make up the games difference created by the earlier whitewashing, hence allowing JEM to claim the winning draw points and, with them, the league title.

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CourtX ladies v Chichester (from left) Amanda Freeman, Amy Wright, Fi Goode, Lynn Candlish, Michelle Spirit, Iliana Melendez, Catherine Hutchins, Heidi Johnson

In the same division, Fishbourne consolidated their mid-table position with a comfortable 3-1 win over Lee 3rds.

Ryde Mead’s men’s team continued their run at the Division 3 silverware with a very comfortable 4-0 victory over Warsash 3rds. And with leaders Lee 3rds dropping a point in a rousing encounter with Avenue 3rds, a winning draw in their last match against CourtX 3rds will almost certainly be enough to give them the title.

The Avenue/ Lee encounter was one of the longest of the season, with the opening rubbers being shared after being decided after match tie breaks. Unusually, the respective second pairs beat the nominated No 1 pairs. However, Lee gained a three-game advantage to take into the reverse rubbers.

Roy Burge and Dave Walker extended Lee’s lead when they took their

Avenue 3 v Lee 3 (from left): Brian Wiggins, Bailey Rowsell, Rob Mort, Dennis Greenwood, Roy Burge. Nick Challis, Jim Clarke, Dave Walker

rubber against Rob Mort and Bailey Rowsell. And with Nick Challis and Jim Clarke taking the first set in their second rubber, Lee looked home and dry.

But no. Brian Wiggins and Dennis Greenwood took the second set and then the tie break to leave the match tied at two rubbers each.

However, Burge and Walker’s straight sets victory enabled Lee to claim the winning draw points, having won 6-5 on sets.

One division down, Fishbourne consolidated their mid-table finish with a hard-fought winning draw with wooden spoonists Warsash 3rds. Dick Nicholson and Rob Moore won both their rubbers for Fishbourne and while Derek Norden and Lawrence Keen lost both theirs, they did win a set off

Warsash’s top pair - and that gave them the winning draw points by 5 sets to 4.

If runaway league winners JEM Tennis are excluded, Mixed Division 2 has been very closely fought. Warsash’s home clash with Ryde Lawn 2nds was no different.

The opening rubbers were shared, with two of the four sets going to tie breaks. The first set of the reverse rubbers also went to a tie break with Warsash pair Karen Kirwan and Miles Quinn’s win seeming to inspire both the home team pairs, who claimed both the reverse rubbers for a 3-1 win.

Lee 2nds had little trouble extending their unbeaten run at the top of Mixed 3. Opponents Fishbourne started well, with Debbie Jupe and Joe Daborn taking the first set off Nick Challis and Patsy Scarborough. But that was as good as it got, Lee taking the next eight sets without reply.

In the same division, Chichester 1sts claimed a 3-1 win over Active Academy to move them into the second promotion place. Ryde Mead, though, have games in hand so the final outcome remains undecided.

In Mixed 4, Southsea completed their best season for some years when they took all four rubbers off Ryde Lawn 3rds to leapfrog their opponents to claim the runners up slot.

Chichester 2nds finished off the divisional fixtures with a 4-0 win over Warsash 3, condemning them to the foot of the table.