As the playoffs continue for local dominoes, the reigning champions are far from worried.
Win or lose, East End Mystical Youth feel they have nothing to prove after claiming the 2014 league title for a fourth straight year. As club president Brainard McLaughlin says, it is up to the other teams to elevate their play.
“We’re not bothered about those results,” McLaughlin said. “We’ve been through everyone during the season and we’re not afraid of any team when it comes to dominoes. We will beat any team once our main players show up to our games. I have confidence in the team due to our past results.
“I would suggest to the other teams, for future leagues try to get together and form one old team that can beat us. The last one to try that was Ultra from years ago. Mind you, there’s still an Ultra team now but they have different players. Carlos McLaughlin put the original team together and he took some of the best players on the island. We beat him in the first game and they broke up after that!”
The Cayman Islands Domino Association is heading into the third round of its 2013-2014 national league playoffs. Island All Stars faced Archies in round two at Mango Tree bar in George Town after All Stars won their playoff opener over the Singh’s Roti Shop team.
So far, Mystical Youth have backed up McLaughlin’s words – winning their first round encounter with Archies by 30 points. McLaughlin, who doubles as vice captain, led the charge along with Franz ‘Frankie’ Brathwaite. That performance follows a league campaign that saw East End lose only two matches – one of which was to All Stars, who they beat by 19 points in the league finale. While McLaughlin says All Stars – who feature the likes of Dwight Moss and Marcia Ebanks – are good, he sees their leadership as a weakness.
“All Stars has good players but one of their biggest issues is they don’t have a good captain to lead them. That has caused them to lose a lot of matches well. Their captain keeps changing. That’s a big problem because you need someone that understands the game, your pairs and looks to put in pairs on whatever tables need them.”
Ultimately, McLaughlin feels his Mystical Youth are at the top of the sport and the next challenge rests overseas.
“We’re going to Jamaica in August, Clinton Peddie is organizing that. We went to Honduras and beat them last September so we’re going to do the same destruction. When the next season starts, if the guys want to continue playing, we will play.”