Under-12s shine in Carib tournament
Bermuda boys' team continued their sparkling form at the ITF/GSDF English Caribbean Wilson Under-12 COTECC Team Championship in Jamaica today.
Ricky Mallory III and Ben Lines prevailed 2-1 in a hard fought best-of-three series with tournament hosts Jamaica at the Liguanea Club in New Kingston to finish atop Group A with an unblemished 3-0 record.
The series was decided in the doubles match which Mallory and Lines won in straight sets (6-4, 6-1).
Mallory and Lines jumped out to a 3-0 lead but saw their advantage slip away after failing to capitalise on several points at the net.
Jamaican pair John Azhar and Damani Cain took full advantage, erasing a 3-0 deficit to take a 4-3 lead in the seventh game.
After receiving some tactical advice from coach Steve Bean, Mallory and Lines won the next two games to take the opening set.
The pair then carried their momentum into the second set where they stormed into a 4-0 lead.
The Jamaicans broke Bermuda's serve in the fifth game to make it 4-1 before Mallory and Lines won the next two games to clinch the match.
“I am so proud of Bermuda's boys,” commented coach Bean. “They showed a lot of spirit, teamwork and communication during the match.
“They played like they wanted it more. The first set was tight but their attacking style of play overcame the defensive play of the Jamaicans.”
Earlier, Bermuda and Jamaica split the two singles matches to set up a winner-takes-all scenario in the doubles match.
Lines won his singles match against John Azhar 6-1, 6-4 but Jamaica levelled the series after Mallory lost his singles match to Damani Cain 6-4, 6-1.
The Bermuda boys will now face Group B runners-up Bahamas in tomorrow's semi finals.
Bermuda's remaining group wins came against Guyana (3-0) and Barbados (2-1).
Meanwhile, Bermuda's Imani Phillips and Kaylah Ming have reached the semi-final after finishing runners-up in Group A in the girls division.
The lost their opening match with hosts Jamaica 2-1 before rebounding with a convincing 3-0 shutout win over Barbados in their second match to reach the last four.
Michaela Stevens gave Jamaica the lead after seeing off Bermudian rival Ming 6-0, 6-4 in the opening singles match.
But Bermuda came storming back to even the best of three series at 1-1 after Phillips prevailed 7-5, 6-2 against Jamaica's Jenna Harrison in the second singles match to set up another decider in the doubles match.
Jamaica won the hard fought match 3-6, 7-6, 10-6 to win the series.
Bermuda then got an emphatic win over Barbados.
Ming breezed past Gabrielle Leslie 6-0, 6-1 in her singles match while Phillips also had things her own way in an equally lopsided 6-1, 6-0 win over Tangia Riley- Codrington.
Ming and Phillips completed the shutout with 6-3, 7-6 (4) win in the doubles match.
Bermuda will face Bahamas in the last four.