Nearest rivals CourtX 1sts kept their faint hopes of overhauling Warsash alive when they also won 4-0, against Avenue 1sts.
No other men’s matches survived the downpours, but the hardy ladies from Lee and Avenue turned out on a bitter cold and windy morning for a Division 1 encounter with only the wooden
spoon at stake.
Lee’s top pair, Helen Brind and Bridget Watson, won both their rubbers, but both the Avenue pairs won their rubbers against Lee’s second pair in straight sets. The games countback came out in Avenue’ favour, 37 to 34, giving them their first win of a disappointing winter.
Avenue ladies 3rds were also in action, two divisions lower against runaway leaders CourtX. They gave them a bit of a scare, with Lee Harvie-Wood and Vicki White taking both their rubbers to match tie breaks. But both went in CourtX’s favour, giving them a flattering 4-0 victory.
The only other ladies match to survive the weather saw Wickham and Rowlands Castle 2nds share the rubbers 2-2, with the latter’s Jane Mellor and Sue Palmer winning both their rubbers in straight sets. The games countback finished up Wickham’s favour.
Avenue’s mixed 2nds team were another to defy the conditions - but probably wished they hadn’t in losing 4-0 to Warsash 2nds.
It was much closer than the score suggests, though; Avenue’s Phil Broad and Helen Weekes forced both the Warsash pairs to 5-7 in one of their sets and Ros McPherson and Denise Simpner took their rubber against Syd Quinn and Jacky Gregory to a tie break.
The only other match completed over the weekend saw Ryde Mead beat Alverstoke, Anna Woodward and Kevin Willis scoring a double for Mead.
The midweek masters matches have had a remarkably clear run of good weather and that pattern continued.
Avenue notched up their seventh successive win in the ladies competition, against CourtX, while ruthless Chichester defeated Warsash for the loss of very few games.
A full programme of mixed masters division 1 matches saw Ryde Lawn 1 complete their season with a 4-0 win over Warsash, while David Lloyd West End were also 4-0 winners over Ryde 2nds.
Lee edged past CourtX after a thrilling, close match which involved five tie breaks. All but one of them went to Lee, giving them a 3-1 victory and maintaining their chances of finishing runners up.
Second place is also within reach of Chichester, who lost the 1’s v 1’s mixed rubber against Avenue, but who won the other three.
Carlton Green kept their hopes of winning the midweek mixed Division 2 title alive when they beat Ryde Mead 4-0. But Ryde Lawn 3rds crushed those hopes the next day when they beat Southsea by the same margin to put them out of reach at the top.
Compiled by Alan Best