Lodge Road A stormed back from the jaws of defeat to win the John Walcott Memorial Team Draughts Tournament 22-18 over defending champions St Martins at Bank Hall, St Michael Sunday evening.
In a tough match at the All Soul’s Church annex St Martin’s battled to an 11-9 lead at half time with national champion Richard Grazette defeating Whitfield “Festus” Robinson 1-0 in a clash of captains.
Lodge Road A who scored a come-from-behind 21-19 victory over St George at the semi-finals, bounced back with a combination of tenacity, aided by the odd blunder or two from St Martins to clinch a title they predicted would be theirs.
Robinson defeated Anthony “Rat” Agard 1-0 after the first game went into extra time in the second round while the dangerous Nathaniel “Thani” Grosvenor overcame Ian Callender in a match of Cross specialists 1-0. “I varied the line. I did not play the familiar line,” Grosvenor said, delighted he had tripped up his opponent.
But Jeffrey “Socks” Clarke, a former national champion and key player in the victory, said he had to read long and carefully to avoid a landmine against Rawle “Schoolboy” Williams and earn one of two draws while he considered a drawn game between Grazette and consistent teammate Wayne “Peg” Gill a win for the St Martin’s captain.
While Grazette’s review of the game might prove correct to his chagrin Sam Marshall of Lodge Road should also be commended for turning a blunder by Darwin Lorde from a draw into a loss and a 1-1 tie. The winning team was Robinson (captain), Clarke, Gill, Grosvenor, one of the few people to defeat Ronald “Suki” King in recent years, Marshall, Hallam Hope and Oliver Whitford.
In the awards ceremony that followed the final Clarke received the Most Valuable Player of the tournament award and the award for most points. Wynell Neverson was awarded for being the female player of the competition and Andrew “Lion” Harris of Lodge Road, the Most Improved Player. Michael Taitt was awarded for sportsmanship.
The tournament attracted nine teams, the most in the past decade or more.