For the first time ever, there will be no “chicken” being served up at next week’s National Sports Council’s Inter-Parish Road Tennis finals.
St Thomas’ pair of Ricky “Body Doc” Hoyte and Anderson “Chef Andy” Smith –– the defending veterans’ champions –– made sure of that, by eliminating Christ Church’s Ian “Chicken” Yearwood and Glen “Chicken” Harris at the semifinal stage, when action continued at the Deighton “Pa” Roach Centre in Bush Hall last night.
It will be the first time in the five-year history of the competition that Christ Church will not be represented in the veterans’ final.
They did nothing to suggest that they belonged there either, with Hoyte, a policeman, leading the charge in his 21-15, 21-10 dismantling of the left-handed Yearwood.
Hoyte controlled the contest from start to finish, rushing out to a quick 13-3 lead in the opening set thanks to some poor play from his opponent.
Yearwood never seemed comfortable, as he repeatedly sent backhand and forehand chops into the net.
Even when he clawed his way back to 10-15, it was due mainly to Hoyte’s errors.
Yearwood didn’t get any closer the rest of the way though, as his opponent used his serves to good effect on his way to cruising to victory in the first set.
Things only got worse in the ensuing set, as Hoyte transformed an 8-2 lead, into a 20-9 cushion, as vocal spectators urged him to sow Yearwood.
He did manage to escape that embarrassment, but it left his partner, Harris, with the herculean task of limiting Smith to fewer than 25 points.
And despite Smith blowing a huge lead of 14-6 in the first set, he managed to get 20 points to virtually assure his parish of a spot in the final.
The two players eventually ended the game with Harris leading 10-7 in the second set.
Christ Church did have some revenge though, as their ‘A’ class team of Anthony “Ears” Mitchell and Marson Johnson romped to their fifth successive final by dispatching St John’s Anderson “St George” Sealy and Adrian “Dan” Skeete.
Actually, only Johnson was needed, as he destroyed Sealy 21-11, 21-12 in a ruthless display.
A persistent shower however prevented Mitchell and Skeete from taking to the court.
With too big a task confronting him to take St John to their first ever finals, Skeete conceded the game to send Christ Church through to the finals.
Earlier, St George’s Emar Edwards qualified for his third finals in four years when he stopped Kyle King of St Thomas, 21-11, 21-19.
After cruising to victory in the first game, Edwards was forced to fight back after falling behind 12-17 in the second set.
King had played impressively for the majority of that game, but he self-destructed in the closing moments of the match to hand Edwards his second successive trip to Springer Memorial School.