Billy McLaughlin has every reason to feel on top of the world these days. His squad is riding high atop the local dominoes league and finds itself flirting with perfection.
Heading into this Sunday’s last regular season match-day before the Christmas break, the East End All Stars are first place in the competition, organized by the Cayman Islands Domino Association. East End are the last unbeaten team at 6-0 and could make it seven straight victories to cap off round one with a victory at Pirates Cove (their home turf) against team Buttonwood at 2pm.
McLaughlin, who serves as team manager, states he is expecting more success from his side on Sunday and beyond.
“As a team we’re in top form,” McLaughlin said. “The chances are very high that we can stay unbeaten. This team, it’s an offspring of a team that used to be in East End in the 1980s called the Honourable Mystics. We call ourselves the Mystical Youth. A lot of the guys on this team have been playing 20 odd years. They’ve been into the sport a long time. The guys respect me, it’s a very close-knit group and it’s very hard to beat us. The dominos have to run real bad to beat us.
“It’s a new season (for East End dominoes) that has seen trials and errors. New rules were made that the players had to get used to but as the season goes on we’ll be doing better.”
East End’s opponents on Sunday are no push-overs. The current standings show Buttonwood in third and within striking distance of first place with five wins. The side has featured a number of domino talents like basketball referee Alvin Bryan and national boxing coach Donie Anglin. In second place are the Island All Stars who also sport five victories so far. They have a number of notable players including domino association president Ray McLaughlin, Robert Samuels and Marcia Myles.
McLaughlin, 50, is a proud born-and-bred East End native and states he is not intimidated by any of the aforementioned clubs.
“I don’t fear no team. I take each side on individually. One of the most respected ones in the league is Kellys. We had to come back from being down 30 points to beat them. Personally I have a lot of respect for them and the other teams also.”