By Hallam Hope
It’s official. Ronald “Suki” King is the winner of the Henderson Layne Memorial draughts tournament.
But he was felled at the last furlong, suffering a shock 1-0 defeat to replacement player Trevor “Gazook” Howell on Monday which carried him to 32 points, four more than defending champion Junior “Post” Walrond. Howell, an old hand at the game, has played steadily since replacing Sam Marshall.
Walrond drew with Cedric Fields after Fields won the first game but the former champion bounced back commendably.
Rawle “School Boy” Williams has performed consistently and a 1-0 victory over the improved Oliver Whitford enabled him to emerge the only unbeaten player. Williams (28 points) finished third, ahead of the crafy veteran Michael Barker (28 points), who handed Winston “Scarpetta” Lowe a 1-0 lesson in the game when Lowe seemed to be on the brink of a victory.
Richard Grazette’s outside chance of second place with a 4-0 win over Hallam Hope did not materialise as Hope fought him to two competent draws which relegated Grazette to fifth place on 27 points, the same as Carson Farley, sixth, and Darwin Lorde, seventh.
Honour points, a computerised rating system, separated all players with similar points in what has been an extremely keen and popular tournament organised by the Lodge Road Draughts Club.
Farley failed to negotiate two draws with Jeffrey “Socks” Clarke and settled for a 1-0 loss while Darwin “King of Cross” Lorde finished steady with a 1-0 win against Kent Layne.
This was King’s second back-to-back victory following his win in the Julie’s Party Rentals Double Knockout competition a few months ago. Hascol Trotman retained the Majors title, edging past his brother Anderson “Brickford” Hunte 33 points to 32 after Wilma Branch had the last laugh with a 1-0 victory over Hunte.
Hunte, like Williams, had an outstanding tournament.