Third-seeded Stephen Shirley won the men’s Class Two title while Scott Jones lifted the Class Three crown in two early finals at the Jamaica National (JN) Open Tennis Championships at the Liguanea Club yesterday. Shirley stopped long-time rival, the top-seeded Leighton Burton 6-2, 2-6, 6-1. It was Shirley’s first win over his “main rival” in the last five meetings between the Class Two veterans. For his win, Shirley copped a prize from Singer and took home a shiny trophy. “I feel very good to win. Burton is a very tough competitor and the number one seed, and it’s always good to beat the number one,” he told The Sunday Gleaner after his win. His rival, Burton, said: “This is the biggest rivalry in Class Two. We have met five times in the finals and it is his (Stephen Shirley) first win,” he joked. Jones, the number one seed, rallied to beat number two seed, Jermaine Case 6-4, 2-6, 6-2 in another exciting affair. His prizes were also a trophy and Singer gift. Jones entered the match with a slipped disc, but was determined to win, so he took pain killers. He had been out of the sport for eight months. It was Jones’ fourth consecutive Class Three final, but his first win. “I am very happy for this win and looking forward to taking Class Two home in the coming year,” he said.
Tivoli Gardens FC’s resurgence continued under the technical leadership of Glendon ‘Admiral’ Bailey when they edged Harbour View FC 2-1 in the Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL) football match at Edward Seaga Sports Complex yesterday. Jamaica College schoolboy star Donovan Dawkins opened the scoring for Tivoli in the second minute, and defender Barrington Pryce got the winning goal in the 81st minute. Jorginho James netted for the losers in the 27th minute. Tivoli started with more purpose as they ran at the visitors. The home side went ahead early when the 18-year-old Dawkins scored his first goal for the club. However, Harbour View picked up the pace and equalised courtesy of James in the first half. On the resumption, Tivoli continued their spirited play, but were let down by wasteful shooting from former Reggae Boy Jermaine ‘Teddy’ Johnson, who missed three sitters. Not to be denied, however, they went ahead for good when Pryce climbed high and headed a right-side free kick taken by Junior Flemmings past goalkeeper Mark Bryan. Tivoli’s assistant coach, Damion Gordon, was pleased with the overall performance of his team. “I’m very excited about the win today. It is our second since ‘Admiral’ returned. We dominated the game and should have won by a bigger margin,” Gordon told The Gleaner. Gordon, a former Tivoli defender and captain, spoke highly about Bailey’s influence on the team since he (Bailey) returned last month and took over as technical director. “He (Bailey) knows the club, as he spent many years here and won two Premier League titles, so it was a good move,” the assistant coach said. Flemmings, who is Tivoli’s leading scorer on eight goals and who failed to get on the scoresheet despite working hard, also praised Bailey for his leadership. “Well, first and foremost, it was a crucial win for us. The coach (Bailey) made the difference. He has been working on some things in training, and we followed his instruction and won the game,” Flemmings said. On the other hand, Harbour View’s coach, Ludlow Bernard, was disappointed that his team came out losers. “It was a disappointing loss as we wanted to move into the top four. The windy conditions made it difficult for us. However, it was a spirited performance from Tivoli. We will have to move on from this defeat,” Bernard reasoned. Tivoli moved to 26 points, but remained in 10th position, just above the drop zone, while Harbour View stayed in fifth position on 33 points.