The stylish Aaron Barker will be representing St Thomas in the ‘A’ Class finals. (Picture by Kenmore Bynoe.)
Two of Barbados’ top players, Mark “Venom” Griffith and Antonio “Lil Man” Daniel, will be representing St Michael against St Thomas when the National Sports Council Inter-Parish Road Tennis Competition climaxes with the finals on January 5 and 6 at the Christ Church Foundation School.
Griffith and Daniel, normally bitter opponents, have formed an alliance to go after their second title together after losing the 2015 semi-finals to Curtis Jones and Kerry “TC” Francis of St Lucy, who went on to take the “A” Class crown.
On Friday night, Griffith and Daniel advanced to the finals in some entertaining battles against the 2015 losing finalists Julian “Michael Jackson” White and Adrian “Dan” Skeete of St John, which lasted after 1 o’ clock in the morning at the Deighton “Pa” Roach Facility in Bush Hall.
In spite of a subdued performance, Daniel dismissed southpaw Skeete 21-18, 21-18. White took the first game from Griffith 21-16, was handed a pig in the second (8-21) before surging from 16-19 to take the decider 21-19 to set up the tiebreaker.
With the rules being that the losers must play the tiebreaker, the fans who hung around moved from watching a road tennis tutorial of the highest order between Griffith and White to seeing Griffith make a mockery of Skeete (21-8).
Earlier, St Thomas advanced to their first “A” Class finals with a tiebreaker victory over Christ Church.
The solid Marson Johnson of Christ Church defeated the cocky Davien “Force Ripe” Taylor 21-19, 21-15 before the flamboyant Aaron Barker matched his game to his sartorial splendour to plough Victor “Earth” Ward 21-12, 21-16.
Taylor and Barker, who have represented St Michael in previous editions, then moved into the finals after Taylor grounded Ward 21-18 in the tiebreaker.
Christ Church, who will host the finals, booked spots in two divisions: the “B” Class and the 14-18.
In the 14-18 semis, Barbados Community College student Ezekiel Ward beat Justin Smith of St George 21-10, 21-15. Ward will meet Ellerslie student Shaquan Henry, who edged schoolmate Terry Rollock 19-21, 23-21, 21-12.
The Christ Church duo of Jamar “Bob” Best and Gary “Kojak” Thomas made it to the “B” Class finals thanks to a tiebreaker win over St Michael.
Thomas lost from a game up and meekly took a pig from Darius “Baracus” Gaskin, slipping 21-17, 7-21, 11-21. However, Best stopped chopper Matthew Grazette 21-19, 21-18 in his entertaining style. In the tiebreaker, Thomas crushed Grazette 21-7. Best and Thomas will face St Joseph, who ousted St Thomas.
Terry “Buh” Nurse of St Joseph dismissed a case from St Thomas attorney Khamaal Collymore 23-21, 21-12. However, Terry Duncan’s play did not match his dulcet singing, as St Thomas rebounded with the muscular Shawn “Schwarzenegger” Spencer beating Duncan 21-10, 23-21. In the tiebreaker, Duncan threw out Collymore’s application form for the finals (21-15). (KB)