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Urged on by a big contingent of followers and playing consistent dominoes throughout, Frankies held a tight rein on proceedings and apart from when they placed second in the semifinal, they won all their other matches.
They also avenged the loss to Essequibo’s Star War, who were eventually edged out by Georgetown’s Segundo for the second position in a hotly-contested final, also witnessed by representatives of sponsors Demerara Tobacco Company Limited and officials of organisers Guyana National Dominoes Federation.
The final score which read: Frankies 79, Segundo 74 and Star War 73 was a true reflection of the quality of play.
The Essequibians took a slim lead in the first sitting before Frankies edged to the front in the second when the score read: Frankies 25, Star War 23 and Segundo 22.
Frankies never relinquished the lead although they were briefly threatened in the final sitting after entering it with a comfortable 68 games with Segundo on 59 and Star War 58.
Skipper Colin Charles led from the front with 15 games, the same as Eldon Phillips while Godfrey Samuels supported with 14 for the champions.
For Segundo, Theresa Gravesande made 15 games, Andrea Lewis 14 and Sonia Goodluck 13.
Star War’s top markers were A. Blackman, L. Reid and J. Bruce with 15 games each.
The lone lovebird was Lennox Durante of Segundo.
In semifinal action, Star War marked 82 games to win from Frankies on 67 and Berbice’s (New Amsterdam) Unknown who were eliminated with 62 games.
A. Blackman made the maximum 18 games for the winners while S. Blackman and L. Reid had 15 each.
For Frankies, Charles topped with 15 games while Douglas Kipp and Gerald Henry had 14 each. Henry Grant made 17 for Unknown.
There were two lovebirds in James Mars of Frankies and Deodat Brijcomar of Unknown.
The quarter-finals saw Frankies chalking up 94 games, the highest games in the play-offs, to win from Star War on 72 and Trappers who exited on 62.
The consistent Charles and Neil Hamilton made 18 games each, Samuels 17 and Henry and Kipp 14 each.
S. Blackman and J. Bruce had 17 and 15 each for Star War while A. Mohamed suffered a love.
Segundo made 82 games to get the better of Unknown with 70 and Wakenaam’s Sunshine on 66.
Lennox Durante registered the maximum 18 games while skipper Ecliffe Cooblall (16) and Theresa Gravesande (16) starred for the winners.
For Unknown, Clairmonte Sinclair made the maximum 18 games and Muniram Budhoo 17 while Jaideo Parsram had 14 for Sunshine.
The lone lovebird was Brian Allen of Segundo.
Apart from copping the $100 000 first prize, Frankies also won the beautiful Bristol trophy and nine medals. They also received $3 000 and a carton of Bristol cigarettes for marking the highest games in the play-offs and similar prizes for marking the highest games in the final.
Segundo’s winnings included $60 000, a trophy and nine medals while Star War collected $40 000, a trophy and nine medals.
Fourth-placed Unknown received $25 000, a trophy and nine medals.
Most Valuable Player, Jacob Bruce of Star War, collected $2 500 and a carton of Bristol cigarettes.
Among the 27 teams which started the play-offs on Saturday were five from Georgetown, three from East Bank, three from East Coast, four from Essequibo (Wakenam, Leguan, North and South Essequibo), one from Mabaruma, three from West Demerara, two from Corentyne (Lower and Upper), one from Linden, one from Bartica, one from Lethem, one from Mahdia and one from New Amsterdam - representing the first time that such a large proportion of Guyana was involved in a countrywide dominoes tournament, prompting Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport to express thanks to the GNDF for conceptualising the idea.
At the presentation ceremony, Demtoco’s Marketing Executive Maurline Argyle gave the assurance that her company will sponsor the tournament again next year and expressed her appreciation to the GNDF and the several organising secretaries for the way the tournament was run despite the few hiccups.
The organising secretaries were all recognised with a token of appreciation, which came in the form of plaques while the GNDF also received one with vice-president Eustace John receiving it.
Prior to the start of Saturday’s play, there was a march past of the participating teams with minister Teixeira, John, Demtoco’s Country Manager Chandradat Chintaman and Mayor Hamilton Green taking the salute.
Chintaman disclosed at the opening ceremony that some US$25 000 was expended towards the staging of the tournament. (Frederick Halley).