Ivor Lashley is no stranger to being the MVP.
And last night, the former Caribbean volleyball star proved to be just that for St George, as he led his parish to their first ever finals’ appearance in the National Sport Council’s Inter-Parish Road Tennis Competition, by shockingly eliminating defending “B” class champions, St Michael at the Deighton “Pa” Roach Centre in Bush Hall.
After watching his partner Bruce Pounder waste three match points against Junior “Ju Ju” Collymore, before going down in a three-set thriller 21-15, 24-26, 11-21, Lashley needed to defeat Terry Smith in straight sets to see his team through to the final.
And he did exactly that, using his aggressive play to completely dominate the BDF soldier on his way to a comprehensive 21-14, 21-17 win.
St George also predictably advanced to the women’s final when number one seed and defending champion, Kim Holder thrashed Juliette Worrell of St James 21-17,21-12.
The news wasn’t so good for St Michael among the Under 21’s either, as St James’ Dario Hinds once more put on an impressive display on his way to registering a hard-fought 21-18, 21-19 victory over homeboy Keon Murrell.
It wasn’t all gloom and doom for the perennial road-tennis powerhouses, though, as St Michael easily advanced to the finals of the juniors, veterans and ‘A’ class categories.
Justin Smith benefited from the non-appearance of St Thomas’ Nathan Thornhill to book his place in the 15 and Under competition.
Their veterans’ team of Andrew “Cripple” Holder and Jeffrey “Bing Crosby” Layne – the 2011 champions – both recorded wins over their St George opponents, Jefferson “Liver” Rudder and Andrew “Drax Hall” Goodridge respectively.
While Holder was made to fight before dispatching Rudder 21-10, 18-21, 21-16, it was smooth operating for Layne, as he rolled over Goodridge in straight sets 21-12, 21-14.
In the nightcap, their “superteam” of Mark “Venom” Griffith and Antoine “Lil Man” Daniel then wasted little time in dispatching St James’ duo of Stig Merritt and David “Jah Paul” Phillips.
Despite going down in straight sets 18-21, 13-21 to Griffith, Phillips did entertain the crowd early on with some rasping forehand winners.
It didn’t last too long though, as Griffith eventually got into his groove, even at times counter-attacking his opponent when the opportunity presented itself.
Daniel was obviously in a hurry to get home when he stepped onto the court against Merritt at 11:45 p.m.
His 21-11, 21-10 demolition of Merritt lasted less than 15 minutes, and was laced with shots all around the court.
In fact, it would even have been even faster had Daniel not purposely let him out of the sow after rushing out to a 15-5 lead in the second set.
The action returns to the same venue tomorrow night, when the other rescheduled semi-final matches will be played.