Cayman finish stronger than Jamaican rivals

Cayman masters tennis club were in outstanding form over the weekend as they snatched back the Spencer Marshall Tropy from Jamaica’s Liguanea in the annual match.

Jamaica have won 16 times in previous matches, Cayman have won five times and there’s been one draw over the 22 times it has been contested. It’s always good natured with a lot of banter but the competition is nevertheless very fierce. A lot of pride is at stake.

This time Cayman were in dominant form winning 23 sets to 9. After two rounds on the first day at South Sound, it was closely balanced with Cayman leading 9-7. Then they streaked ahead on Sunday, winning all eight in the third round.

Liguanea’s Delroy Chuck is the newly appointed Speaker of the House in Jamaica’s new parliament. But that status was meaningless against a rampant Cayman.

‘We’re happy that Cayman won this time, even though we would have liked to have won ourselves,’ said Chuck in typical statesman’s language. ‘The truth is Cayman have improved significantly and maybe one or two of our better players were not able to make it. The real strength of this competition is the friendship between the two clubs. This is my sixth time coming to Cayman and I’ve entertained them six times so it’s a long competition, only interrupted by Hurricane Ivan.

‘This time I’m coming in when the Labour Party is in power. For years, whenever I’ve come here they’ve teased me about when am I going to be in power? I’m happy to report that we’re now in power and we hope that Jamaica will really take off and be a better place that Caymanians can isit.’

Cayman skipper Joe Marzouca said: ‘This win was much anticipated. I could see that the team had finally reached their peak. Jamaica peaked on the first day. Second day we came out and we were in just incredible form and we set a record by winning all eight sets in the third round. It became insurmountable. Of recent times, our teams are a lot tougher than they were in the old days. We’re looking forward to going to Jamaica next year. They’re going to be looking to do us in. There’s nothing I like more than a good fight, I’m a very tenacious player.’

Liguanea captain Carl Chen admitted: ‘There’s a certain level of disappointment, of course, not being victorious on this occasion, but one must commend the quality of Cayman’s play.’

He joked: ‘I don’t think they were using any performance-enhancing drugs and I’m certainly not going to lodge any complaints. We would prefer to win whether they’re taking drugs or not. My colleagues suggested to me that we take some sort of therapy for some rehabilitation.’