Sunday, April 21, 2024

Haynes’ Lions roar into final

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CAROLYN “THE MODEL” HAYNES might just be the most popular tennis player in Belfield right now.
With her team, the Belfield Lions on the brink of elimination, Haynes pulled off a stunning upset victory over Bush Hall Strikers’ Sandra Bailey on Thursday night at the Deighton “Pa” Roach Tennis Centre, to send the Lions through to tonight’s final of the Village Camp Shotgun Road Tennis Competition.
Haynes’ 21-19 victory marked a fairytale finish to an unlikely comeback, which saw the Lions soar from 1-3 down in the best of seven series.
Strikers’ captain Lloyd  “Dickman” Burke had given his side a winning start by defeating Sylvan “Llama” Barnett 26-24, during a tense opening match.
Junior “Snake” Quimby then made it 2-0 with a 21-16 win over Chesterfield “Boy Boy” Brewster, before Stig Merritt pulled one back for the Lions via a 21-17 victory over Ricky “Body Doc” Hoyte.
And when Marson Johnson dispatched Kerry “TC” Francis 21-13 to make it 3-1, it looked all but over for the Lions.
But junior Keon Murrell pulled off a crucial 25-23 win over Emar Edwards, and veteran Andrew “Cripple” Holder edged  Charles Taylor 21-19 to tie it at 3-3 and set the stage for an epic women’s clash.
It didn’t disappoint, with Haynes, the underdog, taking an early lead.
Using her serve to good effect, the left-handed Haynes led at 9-7 and 12-10 against Bailey, a former women’s champion.
She extended the lead to three (14-11) with a superb forehand down the line, and then to four (17-13) after winning the point of the match, a lengthy 24-ball rally, which brought rapturous applause from the large crowd.
Bailey wasn’t done just yet, though. Trailing 15-20, she won four consecutive points to cut the deficit to just one, and silence the large section of Belfield supporters.
But Bailey would unbelievably serve the next ball into the net and out, to end any hopes of a dramatic comeback.
In a repeat of last year’s finals, the Lions will face defending champions Belfield All Whites after they dispatched SuperCentre 21, 4-2.
For the All Whites, there were wins for Mark “Venom” Griffith, Julian “Michael Jackson” White, Shabbir Greenidge and Darius “Baraccus” Gaskin. Kim Holder and Gary “Kojak” Thomas were the lone winners for SuperCentre 21.

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