Hat-trick of wins give village club Rowlands Castle a rare headline – Portsmouth Tennis League round-up

Rowlands Castle Tennis Club rarely hit the headlines. They are a small village club whose teams play in the lower reaches of the Portsmouth Leagues.

By Alan Best
Thursday, 5th May 2022, 9:21 am

But they have earned a special mention this week as they sent out three teams – and all returned with a win.

The ladies 1sts were first on parade, travelling to Stubbington with memories of many epic encounters over the years - mainly won by the hosts. But Castle ladies hit top form, winning all four rubbers.

The ladies 2nds drew 2-2 with Chichester 2nds the following day, but with Castle’s Jane Mellor and Debbie Tapley losing only one game in their four sets, the result of count back was going to be clear, even before Tracy Castle and Lucy Scovell clinched it by taking a set off Chichester’s top pair.

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Carlton Green v Southsea (from left): Joshua Hodges Clive Pauling, Emily Last, Clare Keiditsch, Peter Howson, Gwen Isaacs, Ros Kamaryc, Chris Weatherill

And to round off the week, Mellor teamed up with Tapley’s husband Mark, together with Sue Palmer and Roger Fearn, to win an unexpectedly comfortable mixed masters match against Warsash 2nds 4-0.

An honourable mention too, for Southsea men’s 2nds. They made their first ever appearance in a Portsmouth League match and ran into a strong Lee 4ths team. Southsea could only muster four games in eight sets, but credit to them for sticking manfully to the task. Things can only get better!

Chichester ladies opened their Division 1 campaign in style, winning the opening two rubbers for the loss of just four games. Opponents Warsash 2nds fought back in the reverse rubbers, taking the first set in both to 7-5, before the Sussex outfit recovered and romped home in the last two sets for a 4-0 win.

The other match in that division was a much tighter affair. CourtX’s top pair, Lynn Candlish and Amanda Freeman, won both their rubbers to guarantee their team at least a point against Ryde Lawn. But they needed three sets to overcome Andrea Waugh and Suree Russell and, with Ryde winning both the rubbers involving CourtX’s second pair, that extra set gave Ryde the winning draw points 5-4 on sets.

Lee 4 v Southsea 2 (from left): Rod Smith , Oscar Whild, Neil Skelton, Chris Wilde, James Fryer, Alwyn Lewis, Dave Robjohns and Chris Wright

Active Academy continued their winter league form when they romped past CourtX’s ladies 2nds in the second tier, but in Division 3 the rarest of events saw Fishbourne and Wickham tie their match as they could not be separated on rubbers, sets or games.

Both the opening rubbers went to tie breaks, with the respective first pairs coming out on top. Debbie Jupe and Susie Upton-Brown then won the 1’s v 1’s match for Fishbourne in decisive fashion before Maggie Allan and Sue North beat Fishbourne’s second pair just as easily.

The only match played in Ladies 4 also finished with the rubbers shared at 2-2, though in this case Alverstoke were comfortable winners on countback by 5 sets to 4.

The men’s competition has once again been very slow to get started, with a number of scheduled matches not played, despite the ideal weather.

The one match that was completed, involving Chichester 2nds and Lee 2nds, was another where the rubbers were shared, Chichester just edging the winning draw points 5-4 on sets.

There was also only one match played in the mixed competition. Southsea 1sts’ second pair, Emily Last and Joshua Hodges, won a very close opening rubber against Abshott CC’s Ros Kamaryc and Chris Weatherill by 7-6 7-5. After that it was plain sailing for the seasiders as they romped home 4-0.

Ryde Lawn 2nds failed to win any of their eight matches in the winter version of the midweek masters Division 2, but won their second match of the summer league, beating CourtX 3-1. They will need to keep winning, though, as the club’s designated 3rd mixed masters team - runaway winners of Division 2 and pushing hard to become the second-best team in the club - were easy winners over Southsea.

Carlton Green rounded off the week’s mixed masters results, beating Ryde Mead 3-1, while Chichester’s men ensured that Wellow’s debut in the men’s masters was a losing one, by the same score.