Blaze of glory
Haynes loses contest but wins hearts
Jim Haynes might have lost his matchup against Dario Hinds, but he surely won over the hearts of spectators at Coverley last night.
The large crowd which flocked to the Villages at Coverley, Christ Church were treated to yet another vintage performance from the 57 year-old Haynes, despite his eventual elimination from the Massy United Insurance Clash of the Titans road tennis competition.
The 37th ranked veteran, who was fighting a bout of illness from earlier in the day, went down in a blaze of glory to the much younger and fifth ranked Hinds, 21-18, 10-21, 12-21.
And while he was a loser on the night, he still went away a winner, as the sponsors presented him with a prize for his enthralling performance.
After sweeping aside veteran Anthony “Baku” Simmons in the first round in a dominant showing, a buzz swept around the court when Haynes’ name was announced on the loudspeaker.
And Haynes, a popular nut-seller, didn’t disappoint.
From as early as the game’s fifth point, with Haynes leading 3-1, Haynes produced a beautiful crosscourt forehand winner which brought the crowd to its feet.
Haynes’ style of stepping around his backhand and stroking the ball sweetly with his forehand, forced his opponent into several unforced errors and allowed him to take control at 14-10.
And although Hinds fought back to get within one at 18-19, Haynes took the opening set courtesy of two superb shots. The first was a brilliantly played forehand which sent Hinds the wrong way, and he closed out the game with his trademark “jumping slam,” which sent the crowd into a frenzy.
But the 19 year-old Hinds slowly but surely started to find a rhythm in the second set, moving the ball sweetly around the court, especially down the line to Haynes’ forehand, to great effect.
At one point it seemed as if Haynes might have been sowed, as Hinds turned a 7-1 lead into a massive 18-9 advantage on his way to locking the games at 1-1.
By this time, Haynes was tiring and although he put up a good fight in the third set, which he led 8-6 at one point, his failing legs eventually led to his demise.
In another competitive match, Chesterfield “Boy Boy” Brewster got the better of Davian “Forceripe” Taylor 21-18, 22-24, 21-15.
In a matchup supposed to feature two attacking players, Brewster adopted a defensive approach from the get go, contented to let Taylor be the aggressor.
And while Taylor was able to win the second set and force a decider, it was his overly aggressive style of play, which caused his undoing.
These two matches somewhat overshadowed those which featured two of the island’s best players.
Third ranked, Julian “Michael Jackson” White, while not as entertaining, was his usual clinical self in a 21-14, 21-13 win over Ryan Hall, while the top seeded Mark “Venom” Griffith recorded a lopsided 21-8, 21-13 victory over Allan Davidson.
In fact, after receiving a “sow” in the first set, Davidson referred to the contest as “torture,” in reference to Griffith’s seemingly impenetrable defense.
Also advancing to the last 16 were Kerry “TC” Francis who defeated Kyle King, 21-10, 22-20. Emar Edwards was a convincing 21-15, 21-10 winner over Abbie “Playboy” Clarke, and Shibbir Greenidge won 22-20, 21-17 over Edwin “Darkman” Ward.
Darius “Barracus” Gaskin was also in winner’s row, downing Lloyd “Dickman” Burke 21-14, 21-16.