Portsmouth & District Tennis League: Ladies take centre stage in latest round of matches

With Sunday’s programme washed out, there were no men’s matches this week - but the ladies made up for that in style in the Portsmouth & District Tennis League.

By Lewis Mason
Friday, 5th November 2021, 9:45 am
Female players from Fishbourne and Rowlands Castle, from left to right: Persephone Hagen, Lorna Donnelly, Cressida Williams, Sue Lord, Dreen Chestnutt, Liz Marenghi,
Dawn Wears and Lynda Pine
Female players from Fishbourne and Rowlands Castle, from left to right: Persephone Hagen, Lorna Donnelly, Cressida Williams, Sue Lord, Dreen Chestnutt, Liz Marenghi, Dawn Wears and Lynda Pine

Matches in their winter leagues are played on a home and away basis, and Rowlands Castle recently trounced visiting Fishbourne 4-0 in a Division 4 match. A week later, the teams met again at Fishbourne - and what a difference!

Cressida Williams and Sue Lord played for Fishbourne in both matches. After having different partners in the first match, they played together and won both their rubbers - beating Lynda Pine and Liz Marenghi in straight sets and Dawn Wears and Doreen Chestnutt after a match tie break.

Castle won the other two rubbers after match tie breaks, leaving the rubbers tied at 2-2. There was only one game between the two teams on countback, but Fishbourne claimed the winning draw points by winning 6-5 on sets.

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There was another nail-biting finish in the ladies masters tie between Chichester and CourtX.

Chichester took the first two rubbers, though Caroline Hardy and Wendy Evans took a set off Penny Winterflood and Leigh Robbins in their losing rubber. Hardy and Evans then beat Catherine Hutchins and Vivienne Morgan in straight sets, leaving the match to be decided on the final rubber.

Winterflood and Robbins edged the first set, 7-5 with Betty Corbet and Claire Keiditsch taking the second set and a match tie break to level the rubbers at 2-2. The games countback favoured Chichester by just one game, 43 to 42.

The Ladies masters match between Warsash 1 and Ryde Lawn 1 also saw a close finish, but there wasn’t a tie break in sight! Ryde’s top pair, Anne Tapley and Kahren Barter, won both their rubbers with ease, losing just seven games, but their second pair lost both their rubbers. In managing to win nine games overall, they gave Ryde the winning draw points by just two games.

Ryde Lawn 2nds defeated Avenue 2nds 3-1, the crucial third rubber win coming when Suree Russell and Andrea Waugh edged past Debbie Berry and Heather Halliday after a match tie break.

In the same Division, 2, Lee recorded their first success of the season, beating Chichester 2nds 3-1. Here again, the crucial rubber was the final one - Barbara Wilkie and Belinda Brown coming from a set down to beat Debbie Wigmore and Tilly Newman after a match tie break.

Chichester ladies 3rds suffered a Division 5 defeat, Wickham getting their season going after the previous week’s defeat which featured an exploding floodlight.

The weather had cleared up for the midweek league matches, and Rowlands Castle made hay in the sunshine, beating Fishbourne 4-0 in mixed masters Division 2.

Warsash recorded a similar result against Southsea while the Avenue 2nds v Carlton Green tie, in the same division, was much closer. Mark Fulstone and Angie Brown claimed a 7-6 7-5 rubber victory over Pete Howson and Bettina Harvey to swing the match in Avenue’s favour.

In ladies masters Division 2, Lee won the first three rubbers before Warsash took the last one, while Warsash’s men played an unusual match against Chichester with form appearing to swing widely within rubbers.

David Marsh and Michael Isaacs comfortably beat Nigel Marks and Gerard Long, but the other three rubbers all went to match tie breaks, with one of them scored at 6-1, 1-6 and the other two 6-3, 3-6. But Warsash – who had lost several tie breaks in earlier matches and had obviously learnt from the experience, won all three for a 4-0 whitewash.