Missing player and scorching heat force Rowlands Castle v Fishborne abandonment in Portsmouth & District Tennis League

Last week we reported the trials and tribulations of the ladies team captain at the Avenue. Well, this week poor Cressida Williams, ladies captain at Fishbourne, went one better (or probably that should be worse!).

Friday, 23rd July 2021, 10:49 am
Stubbington v Sarisbury Green (from left): Mary Colquhoun, Gwen Isaacs, Penny Redwood, Cheryl Goater, Maureen Parker, Suzanne Johnson, Sandra Turner, Karen McCulloch

She had four players set up to play at Rowlands Castle, but when she arrived only two others turned up, writes ALAN BEST.

Several frantic telephone calls later and she still only had three players and so they started in the hope the fourth would turn up.

At this stage your correspondent, who was watching the drama from the car park, drove away - in case he was asked to don his kit and make up the numbers!

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Alverstoke 2 v Southsea (from left): Ashley Law, Tara Creasy, Andy Bowbrick, Clare Keiditsch, Tony Norish, Adrian Allsop, Tracey Lazenbury

Cressida and partner Katy Bracher won the first rubber, dispatching Dawn Wears and Caron Howe 6-2, 6-3, but at that stage, with no sign of the missing fourth player and with temperatures in the high 20s, it was decided to abandon proceedings.

There were no such issues in the ladies match between Stubbington and Sarisbury Green – though Sarisbury’s second pair might have wished that Stubbington’s Sandra Turner and Maureen Parker had stayed at home as they recorded a 6-0 6-0 double bagel in the first rubber.

But Gwen Isaacs and Cheryl Goater restored some pride for Sarisbury, beating Turner and Parker on the way, and the two rubbers they won secured them a point, albeit that Stubbington took the extra winning draw point on games countback.

The men’s leagues are still some way from completion in this disjointed season, but Carlton Green went a long way to securing top spot in Division 3 with two victories in successive weeks.

First, they trounced Avenue 4-0 and followed up with an impressive 3-1 win over high flying Southsea.

Russell and Christian Lewis were the starring pair for Carlton, winning both their rubbers, though they needed a match tie break to overcome Carl Spencer and Robin Gallagher.

The final three matches played were all in mixed 2, where the dynamic young Active Academy team continue to sweep all before them. Their 4-0 win over Wickham completed an unbeaten season.

Both Alverstoke mixed teams were in action. The 1sts were unfortunate to run into Rowlands Castle’s Simon Welch, whose tricky left-hand serve was too much for both the opposing pairs. Welch and partner Caron Howe conceded just four games all afternoon.

The other two rubbers were more evenly matched, Laura Pritchard and Gordon Guttridge taking one for Alverstoke while Lynda Pine and Roger Castle did well to come back from a drubbing in their first rubber to beat Nicky Heyworth and Chris Titterington after a match tie break.

The final match, between Alverstoke 2 and Southsea, saw the closest finish of the week. The opening rubbers were shared, with Ashley Law and John Kemble’s 6-0 6-1 win over Adrian Allsop and Tracy Lazenby giving Southsea a four-point half-time lead. But Tara Creasey and Tony Norish slowly pulled that lead back and it looked odds on a tie before Claire Keiditsch and Andy Bowbridge snatched a crucial game to give Southsea the winning points by just a single game