Ryde Lawn ladies close in on a successful defence of their Portsmouth & District Summer League crown

Ryde Lawn took a big step towards retaining their Portsmouth & District Summer League ladies’ division one crown last weekend as they swept aside Lee II 4-0, writes Alan Best.

Thursday, 25th July 2019, 11:47 am
Updated Thursday, 25th July 2019, 12:12 pm
Jay Smith in action during the men's division one tussle between Canoe Lake and Denmead. Picture: Chris Moorhouse (210719-37)

Meanwhile, Canoe Lake II confirmed they will join the top flight next summer when they completed a fifth successive victory in the second tier – this time against JEM Tennis.

With Alverstoke and Rowlands Castle having all but secured the top two places in division three – and Chichester II having walked away with the division four title – most of the ladies promotion places have been decided with four weeks remaining.

But the race for second spot in the fourth tier is alive after Lee IV beat Chichester 3-1 and Ventnor claimed a winning draw against Avenue IV – 5-4 on sets.

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Lee and Ventnor are separated by one point with one match left to play.

The men’s divisions are still wide open.

Denmead retained their slender lead in division one despite losing to hosts Canoe Lake by just three games after the rubbers and sets were shared.

Lee edged out reigning champions Warsash 3-1 and Ventnor kept themselves in touch after securing a winning draw – by only one game – against Ryde Lawn.

There are now seven teams separated by two points – all with games in hand over Denmead.

Canoe Lake III rounded off their division three season with a 3-1 win over Rowlands Castle.

They sit in the second promotion place but could be overtaken by Southsea or Denmead II who have games in hand.

Lee III gained a valuable point from a losing draw against JEM Tennis.

But they will need to beat Rowlands Castle on Sunday to stand any chance of avoiding relegation.

Fishbourne II scored a commendable winning draw against Alverstoke to keep their division four promotion hopes alive.

And Canoe Lake IV’s 3-1 win over Ryde Mead II means they also have an outside chance of going up,

The top three in mixed division four all won.

Ryde Mead beat Avenue V 3-1, Ryde Lawn IV defeated Warsash 3-1 and Southsea crushed Alverstoke 4-0.

Fourth-placed Wickham lost ground when they were beaten 3-1 by Active Academy.

Avenue played two matches in midweek mixed masters division one.

They beat Wellow but lost ground when they went down 4-0 to Ryde Lawn.

Southsea and Glethorn also played two matches in division two.

Southsea shared the rubbers 2-2 in both matches but they lost out on countback to Glethorn – 5-4 on sets – and then on games to Lee.

Glethorn couldn’t make it two out of two, however, as they lost 3-1 to Carlton Green in their other clash.

The ladies’ midweek masters is building up to an interesting finish.

Chichester and Avenue claimed 4-0 wins over Warsash and Fishbourne, respectively.

And that left them tied at the top of the table.

They will meet on August 19 in a fixture which will almost certainly decide the championship.

Other midweek masters results saw Ryde Lawn beat Canoe Lake 3-1 in ladies’ division one, and Ryde Lawn win 4-0 over Avenue in the men’s top tier.

It was the second defeat in a week for Avenue who had earlier gone down to Chichester 5-4 on countback of sets.