St Michael in road tennis final
The St Michael “dream squad” moved into their third successive final of the National Sports Council’s Inter-Parish Road Tennis Championship with expected ease when the rain finally held off on Sunday night.
Rain had delayed the anticipated romp at the Deighton “Pa” Roach Courts in Bush Hall on Friday and Saturday night.
That had affected the fans who were awaiting the return of Julian “Michael Jackson” White after his shocking defeat in the Silver Hill Championships and Mark ‘Venom’ Griffith who had taken that tournament to maintain some pride for St Michael.
While White and Griffith did play some top-class road tennis in their respective “A” and “B” class semi-final games, the night belonged to the inimitable veteran Jeffrey “Bing Crosby” Layne whose highly animated style and superb game was equalled only by his large-looking racquet.
Andrew Holder had sweated to give St Michael the upper hand in the veterans by edging Charles Taylor of St Thomas 21-14, 21-23, 21-16.
Rickey “Body Doc” Hoyte needed to defeat Layne to deny the St Michael veterans their second trip to the final at Dover.
However, Layne put on such a comical show that it was hard to tell which affected Hoyte more – the antics or the defiant defence and artful attacks – as Layne dominated, 21-7, 21-15.
The night of “sows” started when Griffith dismissed Alex Clarke 21-9, 21-14, much to the disappointment of the large crowd from St Philip.
However, the Philipians saved some face when Ryan Hall came from a set down and defeated Chester “Boy-Boy” Brewster 18-21, 21-18, 21-11.
St Michael “B” advanced with a better points total.
The highly anticipated aggression from Antonio Daniel in the “A” class was kept muted by a determined David “Pondside” Philips of St James who lost the match 17-21, 17-21.
Daniel finished the game by putting back on a sure point from a Philips’ smash which left the dreadlocked player stranded high in the court.
A totally focused White then ignored all of the naysayers around the court to formalize St Michael’s trek to Friday and Saturday’s finals at Dover, Christ Church with a 21-5, 21-16 dismissal of Stig Merritt.