Lee closing in on Portsmouth & District League division one title after beating rivals Ryde

David Lloyd West End mixed masters team. Left to right: Mandy Snow, Seamus Cruise, Frair Burgess and David Croft
David Lloyd West End mixed masters team. Left to right: Mandy Snow, Seamus Cruise, Frair Burgess and David Croft
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The Portsmouth & District Men’s Championship looks to be heading to Lee after their 3-1 victory over nearest-rivals Ryde Lawn.

It was a sixth win in a row for the top side and together with Canoe Lake’s defeat of JEM Tennis, Hamble. all but secured them the Men’s division one championship.

Ryde’s first pair, Justin Biggs and John Sculley-Syer, made Lee work hard for the win, taking their rubber against Dan Eldred and Josh Maitland on a match tiebreak.

They then forced Matt Rogers and Conor Doyle into another match tiebreak, but this time they lost it by 10-8, allowing Lee a clear three point win.

The match between Canoe Lake (CL) and JEM Tennis was even closer.

The first round of rubbers saw the score level, with CL taking a one set advantage.

It was a lead they held through the reverse rubbers, which were also shared.

JEM came away with a single losing draw point.

But they now have to win all their remaining matches, and hope that Lee lose their last one, to stand a chance of snatching the championship.

Avenue firsts were the other winners in the top division, easily overcoming a Ventnor team which has found life at this level very tough.

Action in men’s three saw Ryde Lawn thirds edge past Southsea seconds by three rubbers to one.

With Ryde veteran Richard Hutchins combining with Jon Brown to win both their rubbers.

And Rowlands Castle, with Alan Best back in the team for the first time this season after heart surgery, recorded their first win of the season, a 3-1 win over Canoe Lake seconds.

Southsea firsts, who play in men’s four, put themselves in a strong position to gain promotion and join their club-mates when they swamped nearest-rivals Lee fours 4-0.

Lee Ladies first team continued their relentless charge to the ladies championship with a comfortable 4-0 win over Canoe Lake.

Ryde Lawn and Avenue fought out a 10-set marathon which the islanders just edged, courtesy of two match tie rubber wins.

Ladies division two is proving to be the most competitive of all divisions.

Lee seconds lead the way but the next three teams are separated by just one point.

Lee thirds made good use of home advantage to overcome their nearest rivals Seacourt 4-0.

Meanwhile, in ladies three, JEM Tennis, Hamble threw the promotion race wide open by sharing the rubbers with runaway league-leaders Warsash seconds and gaining the winning draw points by winning six sets to four.

And with Portsmouth Tennis Academy (PTA) taking advantage of the JEM result with an easy win over Seacourt seconds the league is once again wide open.

Ryde Mead Ladies are unstoppable in division four.

With Reegan Greenwood available to make a rare appearance, Mead swept to another win, their seventh in succession. While mathematically they could be caught, they will not be.

The match between Chichester and Sarisbury Green in division five showed it is worth going ahead even if you can’t get four players.

Sarisbury sent just one pair to Chichester but still came away with a point when Cheryl Goater and Steph Martin won both their rubbers.

In mixed two, bottom-of-the-table Chichester scored a surprise 3-1 win over a strong Warsash second team.

This was another match dominated by match tiebreaks, with Chichester winning 2-1.

It was good enough to enable the Sussex team to claim the win by 3-1.

And Chichester’s midweek mixed masters may well have thwarted David Lloyd West End’s (DLWE) chances of clinching the division one winter title.

A three-point win would have made DLWE secure.

But Chichester won a crucial match tiebreak in the men v men rubber, leaving DLWE with just a single point from a losing draw.

They must now rely on other results to go their way and secure them a first championship.

Other midweek masters results saw Fishbourne beat Warsash, Lee beat Fishbourne seconds and Rowlands Castle beat Ryde Lawn seconds – all by 4-0.