Ventnor hosted the much-anticipated men’s Division 2 clash with promotion contenders Lee 2nds while the club’s ladies entertained Seacourt, writes ALAN BEST.
The Ventnor men’s match started much as anticipated; with the opening rubbers shared, the islanders taking an advantage in games won.
The home team’s top pair, Hugh Idle and Elliott Jones, then produced some high-quality tennis to overcome Mark Wallis and Chris Mueller for the loss of just one game.
That left an overall win out of Lee’s reach, but Chas Earl and Roy Burge could still win a point – and crucially restrict Ventnor to two points – if they could win the last rubber.
They lost the first set to Dave Richards and Marcus Gorman on a tie break, but stormed back to take the second.
They looked to have a good chance of winning the 10-point match tie break, but the home team pair recovered for a 3-1 win and a slight advantage in the promotion race.
The Ventnor ladies match didn’t have quite the same pressure riding on the result, as neither team could win promotion. Ventnor triumphed 3-1 to all but secure the runners-up position in the five-team division.
A few miles away, Warsash mixed 1 were fashioning a 4-0 victory over Ryde Lawn 1 which was much closer than the scoreline suggests.
Martin Wilkinson and PG Udal were forced into a match tie break before they could subdue Pete Reynolds and Lynn Sandy in the opening round, and repeated the feat against Jeremy Tung and Carrie Bateman in the reverse rubbers.
Ian Udal and Victoria Pine won both their rubbers to complete the win.
In the Lawn v Chichester ladies match, the visitors were grateful for two rubbers wins notched up by top pair Suzanna Troy and Kate Hogan.
Second pair Sara Smyth and Rosemary Knivett lost both their rubbers, but they managed to take a set off Emma Dyer and Em Wheeler in the final rubber and that gave Chichester the winning draw points on sets countback.
Elsewhere in the ladies’ leagues, CourtX 2 all but sealed the Division 3 title with a 4-0 win over Avenue 3rds.
Rowlands Castle shared the rubbers with Lee 3rds but took the winning draw points by winning 32 games to Lee’s 31.
Castle’s ladies 2nds dropped just 18 games overall in beating Chichester 3rds in Division 5.
JEM Tennis stretched their unbeaten record in Mixed 2 to five games after their encounter with Avenue 2.
The first round of rubbers suggested a close contest, with both clubs’ second pairs taking the respective first pairs to match tie breaks.
The tie breaks were shared, setting up a potentially competitive second round. That didn’t happen, though, JEM winning both reverse rubbers in straight sets.
Other mixed matches saw Lee 2nds remain unbeaten in Division 3 after a 3-1 win over Ryde Mead, while Alverstoke featured three players from one family - Chris, Sue and Laura Titterington - in their 4-0 win over JEM Tennis 2ds.
Mixed 4 featured an 11-set marathon between Warsash 3rds and Wickham, the latter taking the honours by winning three match tie breaks!
But no tie breaks were necessary as Southsea took a comfortable 4-0 win against Rowlands Castle.
The men’s midweek masters saw Avenue share the rubbers 2-2 with CourtX. Avenue’s Paul Whittenham and Andy Perkins won both their rubbers with ease. Rob Mort and Adrian Drummond lost both their rubbers, but took a set in each rubber, allowing Avenue to claim the winning draw points by 6 sets to 4.
Chichester beat Warsash 2nds 3-1 while Lee whitewashed Warsash 4-0, losing just 13 games.
In the midweek mixed masters 2, Fishbourne eased to a 3-1 win over Warsash after Sandra Reidel and Jane Whitaker came from a set and 6-5 down to win two successive tie breaks and the match.