By Michael Benjamin
The old truism that ‘fishes thrive best in water’ could not have been more aptly exemplified than yesterday afternoon when scrabble players from ‘The Land of the Flying Fish’ demolished their opponents from ‘The Land of Many Waters’ thus obliterating the latter team’s chances of carting off the honours when action resumed in the Tri-Nation Caribbean Scrabble Championships at the Bank of Guyana Sports Club, Avenue of the Republic, yesterday afternoon.
The visitors turned in a special performance to compile 22 points while Guyana only managed thirteen. Orlet Bullock exemplified the effectiveness of perseverance when he shrugged aside a second round drubbing by Fred Collins (314) and rebounded with victories over Moen Gafoor (194), James Krakowsky (142), Moen Gafoor (194), Orlando Michael (91), Abigail McDonald (12) and Leon Belony (79).
While Bullock’s performance was more than commendable, it was Margarida DeSouza’s contribution that destroyed the Guyanese’s hopes. She swept past McDonald in the first set (23) and then took care of Leon Belony in the second (41). Ulric Harris fared no better in the final pre-lunch game and succumbed by a spread of 106.
DeSouza continued her rampage with decisive victories over Fred Collins (127), James Krakowsky (39) and Moen Gafoor (5).
It was a collectively great performance by the Bajans who signaled their intention from the onset after DeSouza defeated McDonald by a spread of 58. Harris then defeated Darlington (46) but conceded to Richard Carter (88).
Sensing that Harris was losing form, Captain McDonald rested him for Orlando Michael. The tactic exploded in her face when the substitute player dropped sets to Bullock (91) and Elvis King (125) forcing McDonald to resort to Harris.
The veteran player could not find the right tiles and lost to Captain, Lorton Graham (36). At that point, with one more round to go, the hosts needed to secure at least 5 points which would have brought the situation back to equilibrium and present a realistic chance of lifting the coveted accolade. The situation just got worse when all but McDonald, who wiped away Elvis King (103), surrendered their final game.
Defending champions, Trinidad and Tobago, will now face Barbados at the same venue starting at 09:00hrs today in what should decide the eventual winners. The Trinidadians will depend heavily on Brian Yates, Leslie Charles, Compton Welsh, Anthony Modeste, Kurt Ross, Pat John, Eugene Capriata and Adolphus Alexander.
Barbados starts this round comfortably poised with a positive 9 aggregate, while Trinidad enters with an aggregate of negative four. Should Barbados defeat Trinidad, then the local team could clinch the second place spot. However, the ‘Hummingbirds’ must triumph by four points to retain their crown. It’s almost like the Duckworth/Lewis scenario. Only this time, no amount of rain could prevent the ‘Flying Fishes’ or the ‘Humming Birds’ from soaring off with the prestigious prize. An interesting battle looms.
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