JEM sink Priory to set up thrilling finale

Avenue II and Southsea
Avenue II and Southsea
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Priory tumbled into Portsmouth & District Summer League men’s division two after a heavy defeat at the hands of JEM Tennis Hamble.

Hamble were returning to winning ways with the top-flight triumph.

But they will still need to win their final fixture – against Avenue – to avoid Warsash sealing the league crown.

Avenue, meanwhile, showed they will be no pushovers with a convincing 4-0 triumph over an understrength Ryde Lawn.

In the second division, Southsea got the better of Avenue II 3-1 to seal their promotion back to the top tier.

The one rubber the Havant team did claim was enough to ensure they avoided the drop.

Seacourt II lost their unbeaten record with a surprise 3-1 defeat to Chichester in the third division.

The Hayling outfit still have three games to play but one is against high-flying and unbeaten PTA.

Wins in the other two matches may not be enough to dislodge Lee II from the second promotion slot.

There was double delight for Lee in ladies’ division one.

Having arranged two matches in one day to clear their backlog, the first was a walkover when Ryde Mead failed to raise a team and conceded.

And Lee were grateful for that fact after edging an 11-set marathon against Alverstoke 3-1.

The sole rubber – and four sets – won by Alverstoke kept their hopes of avoiding the drop alive.

Ryde Lawn have had a difficult term across the board, with the exception being their ladies’ second team.

They have won all seven matches in ladies’ division two – with Avenue II the latest to be put to the sword.

Jenny Ward and Evie Howarth did manage to win a rubber for the Havant side, though.

And that saw them avoid relegation and condemn Warsash II to the drop.

Ryde Lawn II and Ventnor underlined there is little to choose between the top and bottom teams in ladies’ division three.

They fought out a 10-set thriller but after the rubbers were shared 2-2, Ventnor took the match 6-4 on sets.

The efforts of Fiona O’Regan and Susan Scoccia, who took a set off each of the Ryde pairs, were crucial.

Warsash scraped home on games to beat Ryde Mead in mixed division one and avoid relegation.

They were indebted to Ian Udal and Victoria Pine, who were in devastating form – losing just four games.

Ryde Lawn II are certainly down – having lost six out of six matches, the latest being to fellow strugglers Lee.

Lee will now take on Ryde Lawn’s other string in a relegation decider.

Stubbington netted a rare tie earlier this season – with rubbers, sets and games won and lost all equal.

And they almost did it again – this time against Portsmouth Tennis Academy (PTA).

However, Tony Reynolds and Patricia Raymer fought back from 5-2 down to lose 6-4 in their last set – netting an overall win by those extra two games.

Ryde Lawn IV beat Alverstoke, who actially won more games, by the odd see in nine in mixed division four.

Lawn now top the table as Rowlands Castle, who handed a debut to 15-year-old Harri Rowley, were beaten by a strong Avenue V outfit.

Warsash take on Carlton Green and Avenue meet Ryde Lawn in the new midweek masters division play-offs.