THE midweek Masters League is only in its third season, but it is already proving to be one of the most popular leagues.
This was shown by the 16 players who turned up at Warsash on Tuesday morning to play some competitive but enjoyable tennis.
Warsash’s ladies’ team comfortably overcame an understrength Rowlands Castle.
But there was a high-class tussle on the other courts, with the home team’s mixed squad sharing the rubbers with Avenue 1, before losing out on countback of games won.
Karen Kirwan was Warsash’s player of the day.
There was another high-class mid-week encounter at Canoe Lake.
The ladies teams shared the rubbers 2-2, but visitors Chichester won two extra sets to claim the winning draw points.
Avenue won their ladies match against Ryde Lawn 2, while Fishbourne continued their good start in mixed masters division one with a 3-1 victory – also over a Ryde Lawn 2 team.
Lee rounded off the mid-week fixtures with a win against Ryde Mead.
In the weekend leagues, Ryde Lawn 1 handed Canoe Lake a second defeat in ladies’ division one, while Lee 1 overcame Warsash 1 4-0.
Rowlands Castle called on the services of 13-year-old Emma Pearce for their match with Ryde Lawn 2 in division two – and she and partner Dawn Wears surprised Ryde’s second pair, winning in three sets. However, Ryde proved marginally stronger overall, taking the match 3-1.
Ryde Mead overwhelmed Ventnor 4-0, while Stubbington got their season under way with a 3-1 win over Southsea in division three.
Championship contenders JEM Tennis Hamble 1 and Warsash 1 shared their opening rubbers, before JEM’s Jin Zizheng and Andy Faull edged past Ian Udal and Matt Pond, leaving the match to be decided on the final rubber.
Warsash’s Luke Mendez and Miles Quinn eased to a first set win, 6-1, but Andy Long and David Bray took the second 6-4 – enough to secure JEM at least 2 points – before Mendez and Quinn took the third set on a 7-6 tie break.
Other division one matches saw Ryde Lawn beat Priory, with the match once again decided by the result of the final rubber, while Avenue 1 continued their rather disappointing start to the summer season, going down to Canoe Lake by 3-1.
– ALAN BEST