All but one of the Portsmouth LTA summer season promotion and relegation places have now been confirmed.
The one outstanding issue is in men’s division one, where JEM Tennis Hamble will play Canoe Lake needing a win to regain the championship they lost to Warsash.
So given that we don’t know the final outcome of that match, who lays claim to the club of the summer title?
JEM Hamble are clearly contenders; especially if they win the men’s crown to back up their third place in the mixed division.
But their ladies team do not compete in the top division and that let’s them down.
Warsash could also lay claim to the honour.
Their men could yet be named as top-flight champions and they finished as runners up in a curtailed mixed division one.
And their ladies did compete in the top division, although they finished in the wooden spoon position.
Avenue and Ryde Lawn are usually strong contenders.
They supplied some 20-plus teams to the leagues overall, with Ryde’s ladies winning the top division title.
But other than that high-level success their teams largely finished mid-table – although Avenue can claim two other titles – mixed division four and mixed masters division two.
So, what of the other big clubs?
Well, Canoe Lake Men’s 1 will finish mid-table in division one, while their second men’s team gained promotion from division three by finishing runner’s up after a titanic struggle with Chichester.
And top marks for the Sussex-based team as they agreed to re-arrange the vital match between the two clubs twice, when officially they could have claimed a walk-over, and with it overtaken Canoe Lake and gained promotion themselves.
Canoe Lake’s ladies were expected to mount a strong challenge in the top division but could only finish third, while their mixed team fell away after a strong start and finished mid-table.
But what about Lee-on Solent?
The men’s team were relegated to division two last season.
But they have fought back this term, losing just one rubber and three sets all season.
Their ladies team pushed Ryde Lane all the way before finishing second in the top division, while their second ladies team won division two.
And to back up that success, the mixed team also took the division one championship.
On this basis they seem to be the prime candidates to take the title.
But a word also for the smaller clubs in the leagues.
Ventnor’s men’s team gained promotion to division one.
And congratulations also to Fishbourne, who won ladies’ division four and men’s division three, as well as being runners up in mixed four and mixed masters one.
And finally praise to Chichester, whose mixed team lifted the division three title as well as masters division one, backed up by their ladies, who took the midweek masters ladies’ title.
- ALAN BEST