Jul 07, 2013 Sports
By Michael Benjamin
Abigail McDonald turned in a clinical performance to defeat Moen Gafoor 3-0 to take the 3 best of 5 duel and the National Scrabble crown when those two faced off in a highly anticipated clash for that accolade at the Bank of Guyana Sports Club yesterday afternoon.
The erudite word former won the first set by a spread of 26 after amassing 375 points to Gafoor’s 349. She tightened her hold on the accolade in the second sitting, scoring 466 points to Gafoor’s 396 to prevail by a spread of 70. McDonald then dug in and rebounded after trailing her opponent by more than 50 points, with the bag nearing exhaustion, to pull the proverbial rabbit out of the hat with a stunning victory by a close spread of 3 points.
Former National and Caribbean champion, Fred Collins finished in the third place while Devraj Deonarine finished fourth; Leon Belony ended the tournament in the 5th place. Deonarine was also adjudged best newcomer after finishing the tournament on 17 ½ points with a positive spread of 1420.
Gafoor returned to take the prize for the most bingos (62) and the highest game score (716) while top seed, James Krakowsky copped the prize for the highest single play (136).
Delivering brief remarks after the tournament had concluded McDonald heaped praises on Gafoor for rising to the challenge. She disclosed that she had undergone a period of illness just before the start of the tournament and was in doubt of competing. She also admitted the Gafoor had been a worthwhile opponent that had pushed her to her limits where she was required to dig deep to retain her crown. McDonald concluded by reassuring her colleagues of her commitment to the development and promotion of the sport.
Mr. Gafoor humbly conceded that McDonald was a phenomenal player with remarkable aptitude and love for the sport. He also admitted that she had tested him to the hilt and deserved to retain her crown. “In the end it all boiled down to superior word knowledge, patience, strategy and shrewd ability,” Gafoor said. He admitted that he had had favourable luck with the bag but lost to someone of better intellect and application. “She deserve the accolade; there is no doubt as to who is really the champ,” Gafoor concluded.
Meanwhile, Marketing Manager (Courts Guyana Ltd), Pernell Cummings congratulated McDonald and said that he is satisfied by the organizers’ efforts. He committed to future support but beseeched the organizers to work ardently to have the sport installed in the schools while introducing it to the communities. Mr. Collins delivered the vote of thanks and expressed gratitude to the Governor of the Bank for assenting to their use of the facility.
He further thanked Courts for its chivalry and reminded that the furniture giants have rendered firm support in the past. The hard work of Technical Director Elton Chase did not go unnoticed and once again he was commended for performing credibly. All of the participants also received acknowledgement certificates.
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