Aug 27, 2012 Sports
By Michael Benjamin
Interim President of the Guyana Association of Scrabble Players (GASP), Colin Chichester has stressed the need for wider participation in the sport and has issued a call for support of the government and other relevant stakeholders. Mr. Chichester issued this call moments after the Caribbean Scrabble championships were concluded at the Bank of Guyana Sports Club yesterday afternoon.
The Interim President congratulated the Trinidadians for their sterling performance and said that the team’s resilience has earned them the victory.
However, Mr. Chichester is adamant that this tournament has seen a higher level of play than preceding years. “I’m thoroughly impressed with the quality of the tournament which suggests that the gap has closed, contrary to past tournaments when Trinidad won hands down,” said Collins.
He said that McDonald has proven her worth as the captain of the team from the very inception when she managed to arrange stringent practice sessions. “The team really worked hard during preparations and even though we did not win the trophy, I am satisfied that our hard work paid dividends.
Mr. Chichester advocated the need for wider participation in the sport and said that executives of GASP are mulling the idea of a Junior Caribbean Scrabble championship to compliment the senior one.
However, Mr. Chichester feels that even before such an initiative could come to fruition, executives of GASP are contemplating a school tournament to set the stage for the aforementioned tournament. He also said that the fever is catching and already several other Caricom countries have signaled an interest in participating in the next Caribbean championships.
“St Lucia had earlier intimated its interest in participating in the just concluded tournament but had to retract after encountering last minute difficulties,” informed Mr. Chichester. He is optimistic that the number of participating teams will increase by the next tournament.
Meanwhile, Trinidad and Tobago arrived in Guyana with every intention of retaining the Caribbean Scrabble Championships which they won two years ago and after three rounds of competitive action, they have repeated that feat after swamping Barbados 27-9 on the final day of the championships.
The win was more than commendable since the defending champions started the trek to the top on a dismal note. After six rounds of intensive word forming activity, players from the Twin Island Republic succumbed to host Guyana 20-16.
It was an historic moment for the local team especially since they always conceded to the Trinidadians at this level. The win also meant that Guyana had a firm grip on the coveted trophy since Barbados generally posed little challenge. A win against this team would have given the Guyanese an insurmountable lead and the ‘holy grail’ for the first time since the inauguration of the championships.
Led by Captain, Abigail McDonald, the Guyanese approached the Barbados game with vigor but were shocked into submission when the Bajans turned in a masterful performance recording 22 games to the Guyanese’s 14.
The magnitude of the loss meant that the Barbadians were well placed to win the trophy for the first time especially since the Trinidadians appeared to be off their game.
From a relatively safe position where they were on track to win the championships, local word formers found themselves awaiting the results of the Trinidad/Barbados game to ascertain their final placing. A victory for the Bajans would have placed the Guyanese at the second place with the Trinis occupying the cellar position.
Trinidad proved their worth when they bounced back to embarrass Barbados 22-13 to retain their prized possession. The beating was so profound that Barbados slipped out of contention and Guyana ended up second.
Meanwhile, the printer’s devil was at work and several inaccuracies slipped into the report of the final day’s play with Trinidad against Barbados. The morning session was won by Trinidad after they notched up 13 games as against 5 by the Barbadians, this after the Barbadians bounced back in the final pre-lunch sitting winning four games through the efforts of Darlington (defeated Modeste by 9), Carter ( over Ross by 93), King (over Yates by 84) and Graham ( over John by 31).
Bullock, who had shown remarkable resilience against the Guyanese players on Friday, failed to replicate his feat after experiencing debilitating fortunes.
He surrendered his first three encounters to Patricia John (50), Yates (69) and Alexander (30). The situation got progressively worse during the post lunch sessions when he suffered three other losses to Ross (28), Modeste (90) and Charles (151).
The Trinidadian players were obviously still incensed over their losing first round performance against the hosts and decided to transfer their venom to the Bajans.
When the first sitting had concluded the scorecard read 5-1 in favour of the Trinis. They intensified their efforts in the second sitting and carted off all six sets before the Barbadians rebounded in the final pre-lunch set with 4 of the 6 games.
Up to the time of this report the three countries were locked in intense rivalry for the individual championships.
Fred Collins is the defending champion but had endured a torrid morning session but was battling to retain the accolade. The teams depart Guyana this afternoon.
Guyanese you are being prostituted by your politicians!
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