By Rajiv BisnauthAFTER being dormant for some time, the existing lawn tennis court at the Everest Cricket Club (ECC) ground will be ready for competitive action by October 15. This disclosure was made yesterday by president Manzoor Nadir, after the club received two timely donations from Insurance giants, Assuria Insurance and New India Assurance companies for the rehabilitation of the Court with immediate effect.Speaking at the simple, but significant handing-over ceremony yesterday at the club’s pavilion, Nadir, a former government minister, pointed out that the demand for the sport by young potential lawn tennis players has driven the club to refurbish the court.“With the demand for younger players, we see the need to reestablish the lawn tennis programme at Everest. ECC is not only a cricket club. In our constitution lawn tennis is another significant part of the club’s activities and in the constitution is imbedded a lawn tennis committee. I emphasised lawn tennis because we have a very active table tennis programme in the club,” Nadir revealed.The club president further stated that immediate works will include the installation of solar lights, new mesh, repainting inside of fence and branding by those who will contribute towards the rehabilitation of the court, along with the repainting of the two side screens.Nadir further stated that the executives intend to make Everest a major lawn tennis venue, with the possibility of making a hard court which is a criterion listed by the International Lawn Tennis Federation.Brand Manager of New India Assurance, Selma Rahman, indicated that the Assurance Company is pleased to be on board with the development of the sport. She encouraged the club to continue the upward mobility so that sport can reach a new level locally.Anthony Niranjan, Motor Supervisor of Assuria Insurance Company, in his remarks, said the company is happy to be part of the rehabilitation exercise of the court, since such a move will not only allow the sport to develop, but also enhance the club’s reputation.
Head coach Clay Helton leads his team onto the field. (Josh Dunst | Daily Trojan)It has been a season of unfortunate events, filled with crucial injuries, losing streaks, coaching changes, a green quarterback and boos from the home crowd calling for the head coach’s firing. But heading into rivalry matchups amidst all the chaos, Clay Helton felt confident.“I have a lot of support,” Helton said . “[Athletic Director Lynn Swann] every Monday, walks into my office and has given me nothing but, ‘Coach, we’re in this for the long haul.’”In a team meeting, Helton addressed speculation about his job security, saying that he has a lot of support from administration.“I just let the boys know that my plan is to be here a long time … another 15 years,” Helton said. “I’d like to do it ‘til I’m 60.”Redshirt sophomore Tyler Vaughns was confident before the season and did not expect the team’s spiraling trajectory.“Things happen, certain little knicks and knacks we had, certain little injuries we had hurt us throughout the year,” Vaughns said. “So we just [have to] overcome it and ball out for the rest of the time here.”In practice, the team shared Vaughns’ mindset and was determined to work hard this week to beat its next opponent, UCLA. After a pedestrian performance against Cal that knocked the Trojans out of Pac-12 contention, Helton feels that the emotions behind the cross-town rivalry motivated players to bring intensity and grit to the practice field this week.After practice ended players were putting in work on their technique to hone their craft for the game. With injuries to the receiving core this year, Redshirt sophomore Trevon Sidney was working after practice to make the most of the opportunities to play.“We were more of a team [last year]; it’s a new team now,” Sidney said. “I feel like we still have some connecting to do. We’re just a younger team.”Despite freshman quarterback JT Daniels’ lackluster performance against Cal, where he only threw for 180 yards, he has shown improvement throughout his rookie season.“I see [Daniels] being more poised in the pocket and really trying to read out the defense,” Vaughns said.Vaughns isn’t worried about experiencing new looks against UCLA, and thinks that the receivers and Daniels will find success if they communicate and stay on the same page.Leading up to UCLA and historic rival Notre Dame the week after, the Trojans are facing more media attention than usual.“The noise doesn’t affect me, but it affects 18-21 year olds,” Helton said. “In the heart of chaos, your leader is supposed to be the one that provides calm.”Helton reiterated that the team’s focus at this point in the season is primarily to win football games and send the seniors out on top with rivalry wins.“The only pressure I have is that I want our seniors to have a great experience these last two games and be able to come out with a victory,” Helton said.Injury reportRedshirt sophomore running back Vavae Malepeai was limited with an ankle injury sustained against Cal, in addition to senior running back Aca’Cedric Ware with a shoulder injury. Junior wide receiver Michael Pittman returned to practice, but was held out of contact after a shoulder injury that kept him out of the Cal game. Senior offensive tackle Chuma Edoga is nursing knee pain and did not practice on Tuesday.
James Chester’s own goal completed Manchester United’s comeback from two goals down to win at Hull. Chester gave the hosts the lead with a volley, before David Meyler’s shot deflected in after 12 minutes.But United’s Chris Smalling headed in, before Wayne Rooney thumped United level from more than 20 yards, his 150th Premier League goal for the club. Ex-Old Trafford man Chester headed into his own net in the second half, before United’s Antonio Valencia was sent off.In coming from behind, it is the fifth consecutive win for David Moyes’ team – the first time that has happened since he took charge. Hull had conceded just three goals in their previous eight matches at KC Stadium but folded under pressure from United. Steve Bruce has now gone 19 league games without a win as manager against his old club.It looked very different when his side were two goals up inside 13 minutes. First, Alex Bruce rose above Patrice Evra to win the ball from Tom Huddlestone’s corner, with Chester volleying in from a couple of yards.Soon after, Meyler lobbed into the area for Yannick Sagbo and, after the visitors failed to clear, Meyler’s mis-hit shot deflected in off Jonny Evans. Minutes later, United halved the deficit when Smalling glanced in a header from Rooney’s free-kick.Tigers goalkeeper Allan McGregor pulled off a fine save from Tom Cleverley’s curling shot as Hull came under heavy pressure. But after 26 minutes, Moyes’ side moved level when Rooney’s attempted through ball was blocked by Curtis Davies, and the United man took a touch before thumping past McGregor.