Thursday, February 29, 2024

Ward, White likely to clash


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Hometown favourite Victor “Earth” Ward and Barbados’ No. 1 road tennis player Julian “Michael Jackson” White are headed for a mouth-watering showdown in the Abrahams Silver Sands Road Tennis Competition.
Ward booked his place in the semi-finals with a hard-fought 21-17, 21-18 victory over Aaron Barker on Wednesday at St Christopher’s Primary.
He will now await the winner of tomorrow’s quarter-final between White and Simon Bayne, who is Christ Church’s “B” Class representative in the upcoming Inter-Parish Road Tennis Championships.
Since Ward upset White in the semis of the 2012 Silver Hill Road Tennis Competition, fans have been eagerly awaiting a rematch.
And with both players looking in fine form, tomorrow’s semi-final should be another epic.
Junior Dario Hinds continued his impressive run as he outplayed veteran Anderson “St George” Sealy 21-19, 21-8 to also advance to the final four.
The final quarter-final will pit Jim Haynes against another junior, Shawn Spencer.
Buoyed by vociferous support from the home crowd, Ward was at his clinical best against an attacking Barker, who is also a national table tennis player.
The two exchanged points early  in the first set before Ward broke open a tied 12-12 game.
Two unforced errors from Barker were followed by a cross-court forehand winner and an expertly played injection from Ward, which helped him open up a four-point lead at 16-12.
Barker fought back well with the use of some powerful forehand shots to get within one at 16-17, but Ward won the next two points, including an unplayable injection, on his way to taking the first set.
Ward quickly jumped out to a 4-1 lead in the ensuing set, before Barker once again fought back, locking the score at 10-10.
And Barker would have had high hopes of forcing a third and decisive set when he won the next four points, thanks mainly to some indecisive play from Ward.
But Ward quelled any such notion, winning five of the next six points to level the score at 15-15, before taking a crucial 18-17 lead. Barker won just one more point, with a wide backhand shot signalling his demise.
Earlier, after a close first set, Hinds destroyed Sealy in the following game.
He defended exceptionally well, forcing his opponent to commit regular mistakes on his way to rushing out to a 16-3 lead. From that point it was merely a question of at what number
Sealy would get sowed.
Jamar “Bob” Best and Randy Bennett will contest the “B” Class final after recording contrasting victories.
Whereas Best had little trouble in dispatching Matthew Harris 21-10, 21-4, Bennett was forced to fight from a set down before overcoming Adrian “A” Williams 14-21, 21-15, 21-17 in an entertaining contest.
Both finals are set for Sunday. (RB)


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