Ryde Lawn see off Fishbourne as summer league starts in style with marathon match
Portsmouth’s summer tennis leagues kicked off in style when Fishbourne and Ryde Lawn thirds fought out one of the longest matches on record in Portsmouth & District League mixed division three.
The opening two rubbers started off as mirror images, with the scores in the first two sets being identical, but reversed, writes Alan Best.
That led to a deciding set in each rubber, with Ryde’s experienced pairs winning both, 7-5.
The third rubber between Fishbourne’s Cressida Williams and Charles Donnelly and Ryde’s Karl Bateman and Kahren Barter, also went to three sets, with Williams and Donnelly edging home after a marathon 34 games.
The final rubber was the only one to avoid a third set, Stuart Brett and Andrea Waugh winning it in two, clinching a 3-1 win for Ryde.
Seacourt and Canoe Lake shared the rubbers 2-2 and the sets 4-4, with the Southsea-based team taking the winning draw points on games count back, 38 to 30.
Mixed four also saw a closely-fought match between Southsea and Warsash thirds. With the opening rubbers shared.
Sarah Gray and Trevor Spence put Warsash in pole position with a straight sets win in their second rubber but John Kemble and Amanda Freeman kept Southsea’s hopes alive by taking their rubber to a third set before they went down, with Warsash winning the match 3-1.
Not to be outdone, the men at Ventnor and Avenue also managed to share the rubbers 2-2. Both Ventnor’s pairs lost to the Avenue’s top pairing, Matt Boucher and Andy Gilliatt, each pair won one set, allowing the islanders to claim the winning draw points 6-4 on sets.
Ryde Lawn’s second over-60 mixed tournament was blessed with glorious sunshine and some high class tennis this week.
A very strong entry saw 16 pairs, drawn from clubs from as far afield as Milford on Sea and Rowlands Castle, competing for the title.
With a number of county age group players on parade the matches were very competitive but played in good spirits, with Milford pairing Mick Barette and Dee Flanagan defeating club colleagues Alan Gordon and Jo White in a closely-fought final.