It was one for the ages.
Sybil Milhoan threw down the winning domino to claim the title in the annual tournament pairing Lakeland Manor Nursing Home and the city of Ardmore. In winning, Milhoan and partner Robb Newell held off a spirited rally by Kristi McElroy and partner Doren Watson. The runner-ups entered the final round trailing 125-90 and tied it at 145 before Milhoan came through in the clutch.
"I've almost won, but have never won before," Milhoan said.
"He was good," Milhoan said of Newell. "When I closed down, he picked me up. We were true partners."
The tournament was one of the bi-yearly collaborations between the city and Lakeland Manor. Residents also compete against the city each year in a chili cook-off.
"We love it when City Hall comes out," said Kim Plugge, social services and activities director. "Our residents like to talk smack, and City Hall does, too, I found out. We like to visit with them as much as we like to play dominoes."
There were four teams made up of Lakeland residents and city employees, and four teams made up of Lakeland residents and administrators.
"We just get who can show up and make sure every city employee has a resident as a partner," Plugge said. "It is all about having fun and talking smack."
In winning, Milhoan and Newell unseated Kevin Boatright and Ernestine Brandt as champions. For Newell, it was especially pleasing to join Boatright and Ken Campbell as defending champions for the city.
"All I can say is, 'Kevin who?'" Newell said. "Now, that I have the target on me, I feel the pressure. But bring it on. I will defend."
Newell was also complimentary of Milhoan, giving her credit for leading the way to a championship trophy.
"She was great," Newell said. "She was brilliant, she would lay it down and she was a math whiz."
Boatright was disappointed in his short stint as champion, as his title defense fell short in the first round.
"Today, I was schooled and we get defeated pretty handily," he said. "One year, you are the champion, and the next year, you are the goat. I let my partner down. It definitely makes me more determined to come back with Ernestine to reclaim our championship."
In defeat, Boatright said the absence of Ardmore city manager J.D. Spohn was a determining factor.
"I jut hope my boss is here next year so I can take him out," he said.
"The residents are very nice and we are very appreciative. It's a great experience to get out and sit down with our citizens. I think the city staff always has a great time.