This week’s programme was dominated by matches in the mixed competitions.
Top of the bill was an all-island clash in which Ryde Mead 1sts ended Ventnor’s unbeaten run by the smallest of margins. With the opening rubbers shared, Mead edged ahead when Alex Baughan and Anna Woodward beat Elliott Rugg and Lindsay Sanderson in straight sets.
Dave Richards and Maddy Clewett kept Ventnor in the hunt, sharing the first two sets with Simon Baughan and Jitka Davey, but the Mead pair took the final set, and with it the three points for victory.
In the same division, JEM Tennis took over top spot after a comfortable 4-0 win over Seacourt, though they have yet to meet Ventnor.
The top two teams in Division 3, Active Academy and CourtX, served up a feast of tennis when they met on Sunday.
Active took the opening two rubbers, but they needed almost two hours and match tie breaks in both to do so.
The reverse rubbers were just as long and almost as close. CourtX won them both, but crucially Wendy Evans and Ryan Anders defeated Poppy Marston and Chris Hill in straight sets. That enabled CourtX to claim the winning draw points 6-5 on sets countback.
In the same division, Alverstoke 1sts and Chichester 1sts also shared the rubbers, though the score was very different with none of the sets going to tie breaks. Alverstoke took the winning draw points on games countback, 32 to 30.
Warsash completed the Division 3 fixture with a 3-1 over Avenue 3rds.
Abshott continued their pursuit of Division 4 leaders Southsea when they eased past Avenue 4ths 4-0, while Rowlands Castle opened their season rather belatedly with a 3-1 win over Ryde Mead 2nds.
Mixed 5 has thrown up the two surprise teams of the season so far, new pair Stubbington and Southsea 2nds. Stubbington completed an impressive third successive victory, 4-0 against Chichester 2nds, while Southsea 2nds drubbed Avenue 5ths by the same margin.
Alverstoke 2nds kept up their challenge for the championship with a comfortable 4-0 win over Wickham.
Mixed matches were also to the fore in the midweek leagues, the most impressive result being Chichester’s demolition of Lee in Division 1. The Avenue 2nds v Warsash 2nds was another 11-set marathon, the Havant team taking the points when their men’s pair won their rubber, both mixed pairs having previously won theirs.
Sue Lord starred for Fishbourne in their match with Ryde Lawn 3rds, winning two crucial match tie breaks to earn her team a point; the first with Ian Horgan in their mixed rubber, the second with Jane Whitaker in their ladies v ladies encounter.
Lee 2nds steam rollered Warsash 2nds in their Ladies 2 clash, while Fishbourne won two tie breaks to edge past Rowlands Castle 1sts in ladies 3.
In the same division, Wickham bemoaned their lack of success in tie breaks. A record of played ten and lost ten speaks for itself, and another one lost against Southsea turned what could have been a 3-1 win into a 2-2 draw. They were, though, still able to claim the extra winning draw point by 5 sets to 4.
Men’s 2 is building up to be a really close contest, CourtX just keeping their noses in front with a 3-1 win over Warsash 2nds, while Lee 2nds are right on their heels after their four-hour marathon 3-1 win over Ryde Lawn 2nds.
Lee’s 3rds, however, are finding it tough going in Men’s 3, losing their third game in succession, this time to leaders Chichester 2nds.