University of Chichester tennis team keep pace with top set

The University of Chichester men’s tennis team are still in contention for a runners-up spot after drawing at home to unbeaten league leaders Surrey.

Tuesday, 26th March 2019, 10:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 26th March 2019, 12:26 pm
Chichester's men's tennis team took on Surrey / Picture by Jordan Colborne

Tom Pullen, playing at No1, won his singles match 6-4, 6-1 and Braxton Baker-Bates picked up a 6-1, 6-2 win at No4 singles, while No.2 Chris Jones lost a three-setter in a close champions tie-break decider. Mik Leys, playing at No3, pushed his Surrey opponent all the way in a singles match that featured two tie-break sets.

There was more drama in the doubles encounters with little between the two teams. Chichester’s first pair lost in three sets but Chris Jones and Mik Leyes won 4-6, 6-3, 11-9 to earn a valuable point for the home side.

Baker-Bates said: “At the start of the season our aim was to get into the top three. We’ve achieved that. At one stage we were top of the league, ahead of Surrey. They’ve got real strength in depth though. We had a tight match with them up there. All the games were close.”

Chichester lost that encounter 8-4 and were knocked out of the Conference Cup by Surrey in the quarter finals.

“We competed but they just got the better of us and went on to win the final. That was tough but all the teams are good in this league. We’re playing big universities," he added. “Our women’s team have done well too. We can take a lot of positives from this year.”

The women’s tennis team went one round better than the men in the cup, losing to King’s in the semis.The men’s team need something from their last match against Sussex to clinch second spot. The women also face Sussex with third place up for grabs.

Elsewhere in racquet sports, Chichester's men’s badminton lost 10-0 to an unbeaten Brunel side and men’s table tennis edged a close contest with Sussex 9-8. Netball ones and fives have clinched their divisions. In the penultimate game of the season in South Eastern 2A, the ones beat Brunel twos 54-25.

Netball president Elysia Avery said, “Our ones and fives have done really well. The fives deserved to go up last year but lost the final game of the season and finished second. This year they’ve come back fighting even harder. Our coach Jane Lomax has really pushed the firsts to get back to the 1A division. We’ve only lost one league game all season and we were runners-up in the cup.”

In football, the men’s and women’s first teams are in Premier South play-off action over the next few weeks and the 2018-2019 campaign is going down to the wire for men’s football fives who need a point against title rivals Sussex threes in the last game of the season to win the league.

Men’s futsal ones are in a similar position - a win against Brunel twos would see them add a division title to South Eastern Conference Cup runners-up honours. The women’s futsal season ended with a defeat in the quarter-finals of the Championship to Northumbria who have won this knockout competition for premier university futsal sides the past five years. Men’s futsal twos thrashed Brunel fours 16-1 to clinch promotion.

In other sport, men’s hockey twos drew 2-2 with Imperial College London fours (Medics); men’s volleyball twos lost 3-0 to Essex; and Sussex beat women’s basketball 81-40. Molly Boden ran in a try for women’s rugby in their last game 17-5 loss to table toppers Surrey, whilst men’s rugby lost 27-20 to Reading twos.

South Eastern Cup finalists women’s lacrosse, finished the season strongly with a third straight division win, beating Brighton 26-2.

Next week’s round-up will feature all the Varsity action with Winchester University.