Saturday, April 20, 2024

Jones gets first road tennis title

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CURTIS JONES played some superb tennis to capture his first national title when the Louis Dogs/Cripple Road Tennis tournament climaxed in front of a large crowd at Belfield on Wednesday night.

Jones, who has been knocking at the door but only getting admission to the fourth floor, finally made it to the penthouse with a sublime victory over Darius “Baracus” Gaskin 21-14, 21-17, 19-21, 21-19.  Jones earned $5 000 and a bonus $50 for the shot of the night which could have been any of the many that he wowed the crowd with.

Gaskin of the young brigade may have earned a nice second spot with a Christmas payday of $3 000, but he would have felt hard done after knocking out the number one seed Mark “Venom” Griffith in the semis to then fail to take the crown.

Both players started at a sedate pace trying to feel each other out with Jones finding his touch first to move from seven all to take the opener.  The second game was tense with locked scores being the results from some breathtaking 25-ball rallies.

Jones moved the freest to go two games up as Gaskin smoked the ball to stay in the fight to seize a 17-11 lead.  Jones showed his greater experience in battling back to 18-18 and then 19-19 thanks to a Gaskin’s serving error at 19-18.  Gaskin was able to rebound with two passing shots to pull a game back.

 

Scores locked

 

Gaskin threatened to carry the match to a decider after powering from 14-14 to reach 19-17.  But once again Jones’ experience and form held to lock the scores at 19.  Jones then employed two sweet serves, including an ace to take the match and the big prize.

A familiar face or hand took the women’s A class with Kim Holder easily destroying Abigail Haynes 21-5, 21-17 with power hits making Haynes a mere passenger in the final. Holder earned $2 500 and Haynes pocketed $1 500.

Another $1 500 went to the Holder’s house with Kim’s daughter Kyanna Holder taking the ‘B’ class with a victory over Asabi Downey 21-11, 21-15.  Former national footballer Downey won $700.

The “B” class men’s final was an exciting duel between Jamal Branch and the attacking Junior Alleyne with Branch winning 21-17, 21-16, 18-21, 21-18.  Branch took $3 000 and Alleyne $2 000.  The prizes were shared out by MP James Paul. (KB)

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