Andover Tennis Club’s premier men’s team secured their first victory in Division One of the Hampshire and Isle of Wight League on Sunday.
Having won promotion last season under captain Mike Prince, they had lost 2-7 to Southbourne and, more narrowly, on a tie break, to Virgin Active Southampton.
It was important to get a victory if they were to avoid relegation and this they did in some style. Playing Lee on Solent, one of the county’s most prestigious clubs, they won 8-1.
Lee’s team was led by new coach Matt Rogers and the match was played in a very sporting way under his leadership.
Andover captain for the day and club coach, Martyn Isherwood had selected a team with a mixture of youth and experience with some not long out of the juniors and others playing for the veteran teams.
Andover first pair, A level students, Hallam Doney and Alex Lee, played some fabulous tennis with exciting exchanges and wonderful mobility.
They beat the number twos by 6-1, 6-0, the threes by 6-0,6-0, and then Matt Rogers and his young partner, also Hallam’s partner in the Peter Symonds team, at number one, by 7-6, 7-5.
Martyn and Army representative player Alun Williams beat the number twos 6-4, 5-7 and a deciding championship tie break, 10-1. They then beat the thirds 6-2 6-1 and the ones in a tight match 6-3, 3-6, 10-4.
The third pair, the more experienced Shaun McDonald and Jeff Lill played some great tennis against the ones in the second set but went down 1-6, 5-7.
Their volleying skills, however, were dominant in the other two matches and they won 3-6, 6-2, 10-7 and 6-1, 7-6.
With matches against West Hants and Winchester coming up, the team will need to be at their very best if they are to stay in the county’s top division.
This result shows that there is the talent and the determination in the club, to do so.