Chichester men’s Sussex second team went into their match against Steyning’s first team knowing a win would guarantee one of the two top slots for promotion from the county doubles league. With a strong team available, they were quietly confident.
The match comprised four rubbers and the first pair, Simon Rice and David Kislingbury, quickly won their first match in straight sets 6-1, 6-0. At the same time, but in a far closer match, Terry Lawrence and young partner Maxwell Gunning won Chichester’s second rubber 7/6 (8-6), 2/6, 7/6 (7-2).
In an hour-long rain delay, it looked like the match would have to be abandoned, but the third and fourth rubbers were able to get started. Lawrence and Gunning decisively won their second rubber and the third of the day 6-0, 6-2.
Chichester were now guaranteed a win and, despite the rain getting heavier, the fourth rubber continued. In a close-fought final match, Rice and Kislingbury lost the last rubber 6-3, 0-6, 6-7 (11-13) to leave Chichester with a 3-1 victory and promotion secured.
Their final match was against West Worthing IV. Rice and Kislingbury won the first rubber in three sets, 2-6, 6-3, 7-6 (7-5). Lawrence and Will Coghlan won their first match 4-6, 6-2, 7-6 (7-5). Chichester went 2-0 up.
Then Lawrence and Coghlan confirmed Chichester’s victory with a 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (8-6) win. It was left to Rice and Kislingbury to win the last match of the season 4-6, 7-6 (7-1), 7-6 (7-0) gave Chichester a 4-0 clean-sweep victory and complete a very successful season.