Tennis glory for dominant Lee ladies as they win back Solent Cup for Portsmouth League
Lee’s dominant ladies team finished their winter season in style when they won back the Solent Cup for the Portsmouth League, beating Winchester 3-1 on a sunny but cold day at Warsash TC last weekend.
Their top pair, April Brown and Chloe Efford, won both their rubbers convincingly and Andrea Jackson and Kate Russell backed them up with a comfortable rubber win against Winchester’s second pair, writes Alan Best.
Lee also represented the Portsmouth League in the men’s challenge, but they were just edged out by Southampton’s representatives, Warsash, in a very closely-contested match.
The opening round of rubbers was shared, and both the reverse rubbers went to match tie breaks.
But the Warsash pairings, Matt Pond and Liam Hignett and Ian Udal with Martin Wilkinson, saved their best to last. Both pairs dominated the tie breaks to ensure that Warsash retained the cup for the Southampton League.
Elsewhere the Portsmouth & District League summer season started to pick up momentum. Ryde Mead firsts whitewashed Warsash 2 4-0 in men’s two and Chichester seconds beat Warsash’s third team by the same score in men’s four.
In between those results Jem Tennis and Ryde Lawn thirds played out a drawn match, with JEM taking the winning draw point courtesy of Graham Richardson and Tim Beal, who managed to win a set in their losing rubber against Steve Collins and Jon Rogers.
In ladies division two JEM faced a team from Ryde Lawn – and played out a drawn match, also claimed the winning draw point, only in this case it was on games countback, JEM winning 32 games to Ryde’s 28.
In the same division, Wickham and Portsmouth Tennis Academy (PTA) fought out another draw, with the result again decided on countback, in this case Wickham coming out on top with 37 games against 35.
Meanwhile, in division three, newly-promoted Fishbourne signalled their intentions of challenging for promotion in the higher division with a 4-0 whitewash of Ryde Lawn thirds while Rowlands Castle, who suffered relegation from division two showed they hope to bounce straight back with a similar 4-0 win over Warsash seconds.
The newly-formed Chichester ladies seconds started their season in style, storming past Lee fours 4-0. Lee’s Deanna Tarrant and Wendy Hadfield tried their hardest to stem the onslaught, taking the first set off Michelle Spirit and Vivien Morgan.
In mixed division four, Ryde Lawn fours had to win a total 60 games to overcome a stubborn Active Academy team.
Ryde won the opening two rubbers and must have thought they were in for an easy ride in the reverse rubbers, but that was not to be.
Both went to a third set and although Ryde won then both to clinch a 4-0 victory, they were taken to 7-5 in both cases.
Southsea’s 3-1 win over Wickham in the same division was only slightly easier.
In this case it was the opening rubbers which went to three sets before being shared. But Southsea came out on top in both the reverse rubbers.
The vital final match in the winter mixed master’s division one between Ryde Lawn and Wellow was won by Ryde, their 3-1 victory enabling them to sneak past David Lloyd West End to retain their championship by a single point. The Wellow ladies won, but Ryde’s men, David Fothergill and Nick Searles, both coaches at the club, were the dominant players and took their team to victory.
The summer master’s competition got under way with wins for Fishbourne and Chichester in ladies division one, the latter a very impressive 4-0 victory over a strong Avenue team.