Titans start

Tennis spectacular opens with 'sows' aplenty

Christmas might be more than a month away.

But there was plenty of ham and pork to go around at Coverley last night.

The Massy United Insurance Clash of the Titans Road Tennis Tournament didn’t only bring out an appreciative crowd, it also brought out “sows” aplenty during the opening night of action in the Villages at Coverley.

Three of the first six matches saw the losers being “pigged,” in what turned out to be surprisingly lopsided games.

While promising junior Keon Murrell didn’t suffer that fate in the night’s first contest, going down 16-21, 15-21 to the wily Ryan Hall, Donald Grazette didn’t prove to be so lucky.

In fact, Grazette suffered the ignominy of being “double sowed” by Lloyd Dickman Burke, 21-6, 21-9, despite at times playing steady tennis.

He struggled to cope with the windy conditions, especially in the first set. In the ensuing set, he actually had to battle from 8-0 down, before settling down to play some enthralling rallies with Burke, which the crowd acknowledged with rapturous applause.

Kerry TC Francis then quickly disposed of Jamar Bob Best, adding a sow for good measure in a 21-11, 21-9 demolition.

The performance of the night, though, came from veteran Jim Haynes, who gave those present a performance for the ages, while completely dominating counterpart, Anthony Baku Simmons, 21-9, 21-10.

He showed why he was good enough to make the semifinals of the 1987 Banks tournament, as he blasted shots all around the court, leaving Simmons motionless most of the time and bringing the crowd to its feet.

Not even Simmons’ crafty serves could stop Haynes’ rampage, as he repeatedly ran around his backhand to stroke stylish forehand shots past his bedazzled opponent.

He too almost suffered the embarrassment of a “double sow,” after trailing 9-20 in the second set, but he managed to hold on to reach double figures.

The last two matches proved to be the most competitive of the night, as they were the only ones to go the full distance.

In the penultimate match, former national table tennis champion, Abbie Playboy Clarke was pushed to the limit by southpaw Hanson Chandler, before eventually emerging victorious 21-15, 18-21, 21-11.

With the games tied at one apiece, Clarke began the final set in aggression fashion, as he chose to serve and attack Chandler’s floated returns.

It helped him to rush out to a 6-0 lead, and despite being obviously fatigued, he was able to close out the contest.

Dwayne Hope and Davian Forceripe Taylor then brought the curtains down in an entertaining duel, which saw Taylor outlasting his opponent, 14-21, 21-14, 21-11.

Davian Taylor smashes past Dwayne Hope.
Davian Taylor smashes past Dwayne Hope.

Hope, who will represent St Philip in the upcoming Inter-Parish Road Tennis Competition, was the more patient of the two in the opening set.

His game plan of keeping the ball in his opponent’s backhand worked to perfection, leading to the dreadlocked Taylor committing several unforced errors.

However, after dropping that first set, Taylor eventually found a rhythm, using his feet to create attacking opportunities on his way to winning the second set.

The third set initially seemed like it was headed for an exciting finish with Hope hanging on to a slender one point lead at 8-7. Taylor, though, had other plans, as he went on to win eight of the next nine points to assume control of the game.

He ended the game with two scintillating forehand winners; the first of which whizzed through Hope’s backhand, while the other was powerfully whipped through his forehand.

In the night’s other matches, Darius Barracus Gaskin advanced with an unconvincing 21-18, 21-11 win over Ian Chicken Yearwood, Edwin Darkman Ward defeated Anthony Haynes 21-15, 21-10 and Allan Davidson put Andrew Cripple Holder in a wheelchair via a 21-10, 21-16 whipping.

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