Deacons join Club
DEFENDING champions Deacons will clash with a new opponent when the finals of the Cooperators General Insurance Junior knockouts are staged this evening at the Free Hill Courts, St Michael.
Deacons will battle Plus The Club after the latter ousted perennial finalists Chargers in a very entertaining match at Free Hill on Thursday night. Deacons’ men had a tight battle at home against Foundation before winning 25-23, 22-25, 28-26, 25-22.
Ironically, Foundation had been eliminated by Progressive in the quarter-finals before – for the second straight year – it was realised that Progressive had used a player contrary to the playing regulations.
According to the regulations, retired national player Renier Grace should not have competed in a lower division until the expiration of two years.
There was no such reprieve for Chargers on Thursday night as they suffered a double blow, with their girls succumbing to home team O-Aces in straight sets, 14-25, 21-25, 18-25. Bolivian setter Andre Flores carried O-Aces into the finals where they will battle Deacons’ women today at 5:30 p.m.
The large crowd at Free Hill was truly entertained by the keen rivalry between The Club and Chargers, with Chargers setter Shawn Gibson and veteran Michael Brathwaite battling in vain to hold off their high-spirited opponents.
The setting of national coach Andrew Brathwaite ensured that his spearhead, Ryan Forde, carried The Club to their first finals, 21-25, 25-23, 27-25, 22-25, 17-15.
The hyped-up Robert Gooding and Andre Demenonca provided the consistent support for The Club which was absent from Chargers’ large bench.
At no stage could the spectators pick a winner, with only a lights break after the fourth set offering a chance for the equally divided supporters to exhale. The fifth set was nerve-wracking, with the scores being tied from 14 until at game and set point (16-15), an obviously outward bound serve was helped even further by Chargers to hand The Club the set and match.