A reduced fixture Portsmouth & District League list for the weekend was weakened still further by Storm Hannah but the hardy men and women at Wickham just played through the gales.
The ladies were rewarded with a win by three rubbers to one against Stubbington, who suffered their third defeat in succession. But they made their opponents fight for every point with three of the first four sets being taken to 7-5 before Wickham prevailed, writes Alan Best.
The reverse rubbers were also very close. Elaine Reed and Karen McCullough saved some face for Stubbington when they defeated Alison Kearns and Yvonne Richardson after three long sets.
Wickham’s mixed team were not quite so successful. With four of their ladies playing in the Stubbington match they did well to share the rubbers 2-2 with a strong Avenue five team.
David Connington and Janet Eade won both their rubbers for Wickham, but they conceded a set to Avenue’s Mark Fulstone and Linda Barber in doing so and that set proved to be the difference between the two teams on countback, with Avenue taking the extra winning draw point 5-4.
The mixed division one match between Warsash and Avenue was another in which the rubbers were shared 2-2, with ex Avenue player Ed Percival, now representing Warsash, winning both rubbers in conjunction with partner Victoria Pine.
Warsash’s second pair, Matt Pond and PG Udal didn’t do quite so well, but they won enough games to ensure that Warsash took the winning draw points on countback.
The only other match played at the weekend saw Ventnor’s mixed team open their division three account with a comfortable 3-1 win over island rivals Ryde Lawn thirds.
The weather had vastly improved for the midweek masters fixtures and here Avenue ladies set out to add the summer title to the one they won in the winter with a comprehensive 4-0 win over Canoe Lake.
Summer champions in 2018, Chichester, showed they do not intend to give up their title easily when they eased past Ryde Lawn 3-1. Rachael Hutchinson and Sara Smyth recorded a double for Chichester with Jill Street and Debbie Draper backing them up with a win over Ryde’s second string.
Fishbourne completed the division one fixtures with another 3-1 win, over Warsash. Tamsin Saunders and Priscilla Pendle won both their rubbers, with Katy Bracher and Mandy Davies notching up the third.
Lee got their summer masters season under way with a win in their mixed two fixture against Glethorn, winning both the mixed rubbers and the ladies v ladies match up but losing the men v men. Their men’s team then went on to visit Chichester but found themselves up against tough opposition, losing all four rubbers to a team made up of regular weekend team players.