East End reliving glory days

East End have reclaimed their place as the standard in local dominoes.

The East End All Stars recently capped off their unbeaten season with a 300-251 victory over team DLK at the Dump Road Bar. With the victory the side finish the 2011 national domino league, put on by the Cayman Islands Domino Association, in first place at 14-0.

For most team-members, like Fred McLaughlin, 2011 marks a return to former glory as the side used to be a top squad years ago.

“I’ve been playing dominoes for 30 years and competed back when East End had two teams in the Honourable Mystics and the East End Brothers,” McLaughlin said. “The Brothers later joined the Mystics and became the Mystical Youths. A lot of the players retired when silent code became popular in the 1990s. We’re all used to playing mental dominoes.

“Most of the older guys in their 40s came together to form the East End team you see today. From the onset of the season our aim was to bring back the league trophy to East End. We were a dominant team for years and retired the last trophy. We lost a few games but we were league and knockout champions. We were able to bring back the tropy this year and in the course of it we went undefeated.”

Fred, 45, was part of a large East End side (sponsored by East End Steel, Pirates Cove bar and Water Boys liquor store) that featured some 30 odd members. Billy McLaughlin served as team captain and some of the better players included Brainard McLaughlin, Brent Greene and Kirby Powell. Fred McLaughlin is also one of the stalwarts of the side and teamed up often with Al McLaughlin. Interestingly Fred states the victory over DLK had an extra edge to it.

“We have lots of good players like Noel Connolly, Cali Solomon, Kendall Connor, Gordon and Henry Dixon and Lynroy McLaughlin. Most matches have five tables and we’re all split up into five pairs. We have eight younger players that are up-and-coming as reserves.

“Our victory over DLK was sweet in more ways than one. There was tournament back in January called the 100-point Sprint. We played DLK (then called Buttonwood) in the final and we lost by three points. A lot of players were fatigued and we all wanted to win against them in the league. Everyone was pumped and we were dominant.”