‘MJ’ still the man
Don’t write off Junior “Michael Jackson” White just yet.
Barbados’ most dominant player perhaps since a three-year golden period in the 1980s by Charles “McInroe” Griffith, was back to his winning ways on Saturday night as St. Michael dominated the finals of the National Sports Council’s Inter-Parish Road Tennis Championships at the Dover, Christ Church hard court.
Jackson, the pride of St. Michael, mowed down Christ Church’s perennial Cinderella Man David Arrendell 21-5, 21-5.
Arrendell, who frequently plays well, but on the big occasion has never quite got over the final hurdle, saw his carriage quickly turned into a pumpkin before midnight as White wiped the Dover cement with him in a clinical display.
In fairness to Arrendell, he can play much better than the score-line suggested, but on Saturday night White simply slaughtered him.
White’s is normally a patience game with Arrendell more prone to attack but also quite capable of adapting his game to suit the occasion. On Saturday night he got caught somewhere between attack and defence and this resulted in several errors, forced and unforced. He mishit a number of returns, sometimes even off his initial serve and against a player of White’s pedigree this is tantamount to hara-kari.
Arrendell was never in this ‘A’ class final with White rushing to sizeable early 10-2 and 12-2 leads in the two games respectively. White played his consistent return game, and waited on his opponent to self-destruct. Arrendell’s was a spectacular combustion.
For White it was a welcome reminder to fans that his shock loss to Victor “Earth” Ward at the Silver Hill Championships last month was a mere aberration and no cause for panic among his supporters.
In other ‘A’ class action one of the outstanding players of local road tennis, St. Michael’s Antoine Daniel, disposed of Christ Church’s Marson Johnson 21-14, 24-22 in a thrilling encounter where Daniel had to dig deep into his resolve to put away opponent.
In the second game Johnson had more than one opportunity to even the scores but fluffed those opportunities through a mixture of Daniel’s aggressive shot-making and his own errors.
In other action, St. Michael’s Andrew Holder lost to Glen Harris of Christ Church 7-21, 21-16, 13-21 and St. Michael’s showman Jeffrey “Bing” Layne defeated Ian Yearwood 21-7, 21-14, as St. Michael wrapped up the veterans final. Overall points tally determined the victors in this category. ††††