Gaskin claws way back
Darius “Baracus” Gaskin staged an unbelievable comeback to sneak into the finals of the Lions And Leo Club Of Barbados 30 And Under Road Tennis Tournament when the semi-finals were played at the Deighton “Pa” Roach facility on Thursday night.
The number one ranked player in the 21-30 age division, Gaskin, who had lost a final in another tournament the previous night, seemed in danger of not making the finals in the Touch of Class event. The muscular southpaw Shawn “Schwarzenegger” Spencer had Gaskin reeling in the decisive set 18-11 before Gaskin surged to win 15-21, 21-16, 21-19.
Spencer stroked the ball with pure energy and placement to force Gaskin to call on his A game to survive. Within touching distance of the finals, Spencer faltered for his opponent to move from sure elimination to lead 19-18 before the scores were locked at 19-19.
Some controversy added to the drama with the officials calling for a replay after an indecisive signal from one of the linespersons had interrupted the game. Gaskin then scored the next two points to advance to meet the stylish Dario Hinds last night.
Hinds entertained and then rejected an appeal from attorney Khamaal Collymore 21-18, 21-13. The women’s 21-30 age division semis were also straight affair cases with Rachel Smith putting out Cherene Ward 22-20, 21-18, while Abigail Haynes dismissed the powerfully built Samanta Rodgers 21-15, 21-9.
In the 17-20 age group, Emar Edwards easily beat rookie Donnie Holder 21-10, 21-7 to set up a showdown in the final against Brandon Arrendell, who defeated Justin Hinds 21-10, 21-12.
Deighton Griffith’s southpaw Ezekiel “Ezee” Ward beat Kajay Sealy 21-15, 21-5 to go into the 13-16 finals against Ellerslie’s Shaquan Henry, who rolled over Tramario Lyte 21-10, 21-9.
Barbados’ number one women’s table tennis player, 16-year-old Janae Lewis of The St Michael School, took out Springer Memorial’s Zariah Greaves 20-22, 21-15, 21-13 in the 13-16 age group to book a final date with Marissa King.
The girls’ 7-12 age group saw Abilla Clarke pipping Adrianna Johnson-Leacock 8-21, 21-15, 24-22 while Ranesha Stewart edged Asha Stevenson 21-19, 21-23, 21-16.
The 7-12 favourite Shakeem Nurse reached the finals with a 21-11, 21-7 win over Ahijah Blunt while Under-13 island champion Tyrease Holder prevailed over Asha Stevenson 21-12, 21-23, 21-16.
The finals in all the age categories were slated for last night. (KB)