Four road titans to battle

Mark “Venom” Griffith and Antonio “Lil Man Daniel are the finalists in the male section of the first edition of the Lance Bynoe Open Masters Tournament.

Meanwhile, Sheldene Walrond and Rachel Smith will vie for the ladies’ crown when the finals are staged at the Rubis Sports Club, Brighton, Spring Garden, Monday night.

Rachel Smith defeated Abigail Haynes to make tonight’s final.

In the semifinals played at the same venue Sunday night, Griffith defeated Dario “CR7” Hinds and Daniel had a closely fought victory over Julian “Michael Jackson” White.

Walrond halted the progress of the big-hitting Kim Holder and Smith defeated the stylish Abigail Haynes.

The first game between Griffith and Hinds was a close and exciting affair. Hinds took control of the game in the opening stages as he accumulated four points before Griffith gained one.

Hinds led 4-1 when the service changed. Griffith fought back to lock the score 5-5. While Griffith steadily gained points, Hinds maintained his lead.

The service changed at 8-7, 9-11, 13-12 and 16-14, and even though Griffith had narrowed his opponent’s lead, Hinds held the advantage throughout the game.

Hinds peppered Griffith with several back arm and forearm shots that created a number of exciting rallies throughout the game.

Hinds appeared to be on victory’s path at 20-16 but Griffith would not roll over, he levelled the score 20-20 and won the game 23-21.

In the second game, Griffith whipped Hinds 21-7.

Daniel rebounded after White defeated him 21-17 in the first game.  The players were evenly matched but it was White who dominated most of the game. However, this did not stop Daniel from unleashing a number of powerful shots down the centre of the court which his opponent could not return.

Daniel won the second game 21-18 to set up the deciding third game. In the third game, White held the lead at 6-4 and 8-7, and then the game was locked at 9-9.

White regained the lead at 13-12, Daniel locked the game at 15-15 and was leading 19-16 when service changed.

White won another two points to lock the score at 19, but Daniel followed with two vital points and ended the game 21-19.

For the second time in three weeks, Sheldene Walrond stopped Kim Holder from advancing to the final of a competition.

Last month, Walrond defeated Holder in the semifinals of the Touch of Class Tournament. Sunday night, she defeated Holder, who for several years was the undisputed queen of road tennis on the island, 21-16, 21-11, to book her place in the final.

Rachel Smith earned her place in the final with a 21-17, 21-15 victory over Abigail Haynes.

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