Sue Abela and Mauro Anastasi declared National Champions
The 2017 BOV National Bowling Champions are Sue Abela and Mauro Anastasi, having won their respective division in the National Championships, organised by the Malta Ten Pin Bowling Association (MTBA). This is Sue’s 22nd title, and Mauro’s 3rd one, making him the only male bowler to clinch three titles in the last decade.
This year’s edition, sponsored by Bank of Valletta, saw 22 competitors vying for this coveted title, 15 male and 7 female players.
Alan Attard, Director at Bank of Valletta presented the trophies to the winners in the presence of MTBA President Paul Baldacchino. “We are proud to support the MTBA, an association that is achieving success both locally and on the international scene,” said Mr Attard whilst congratulating the winners. “Bank of Valletta is a name that has become synonymous with the world of sports. We are proud to be associated with the top sports disciplines as well as other disciplines that are gaining interest and seeing more participants, of different ages.”
Speaking about the next phase, Mr Baldacchino, explained that Sue Abela and Mauro Anastasi will now be representing Malta in the European Championship that will be disputed in Vienna, Austria between the 23rd and 29th October. “We take this opportunity to augur our newly minted champions well in this competition. We are certain that with their performance, both Sue and Mauro will continue to add accolades to those achieved by our bowlers on the international scene.”
A closer look at the Competition
On day 1 we saw Cynthia Duca leading the female section just 9 pins ahead of Sue Abela, while Tiziana Carannante was in 3rd place. In the male section it was Mauro Anastasi who took the early lead, followed by Neil Sullivan who lagged behind by exactly a 100 pins, and Rankin Camilleri 17 pins under 2nd place. Only Mauro managed to roll a series over 1600 on the day (1651).
Day 2 saw some changes. Rolling the highest ladies series of the day (1626), Sue Abela leapt to 1st place with an advantage of 69 pins over Tiziana, who improved to 2nd, while Cynthia dropped to 3rd place, just 20 pins below the latter. Although he dropped to a 1551 series, Mauro still retained the lead, followed by Special Olympics star Philip Gruppetta who was 85 pins behind. Neil dropped to 3rd place, 101 pins away from Mauro and just 26 pins from 2nd. Only 2 bowlers managed a 200+ series: Sue Abela (1626) and Dennis Mercieca (1640), the latter leapfrogging from 9th to 4th place.
Day 3 was the most exciting of all as we had quite a few bowlers bowling over the 1600 series. The only lady to do so was the formidable Sue Abela who rolled a 1646 series, with only 2 games below 200, to not only retain the top spot and claim back the championships title, but also increase the lead by a massive 253 pins. The tussle was actually who would clinch 2nd place, as Tiziana and Cynthia, both lefties, and incidentally playing on the same lanes, continued the photo finish, with Tiziana clinching the 2nd spot by 6 pins. Cynthia finished in the 3d place.
There were 6 men, who played well over 1600, with the highest coming from Neil Sullivan (1696). We also had some very good games from this series: 278 by Mauro, 277 by Kenneth and a 276 by Rankin. The best part came in game 6, when we saw a massive game by Mauro and Neil, who were mirroring each other’s shots, with Mauro rolling his 278, and Neil a 257, both fuelled by adrenalin. Philip Gruppetta still managed to keep close as he also rolled a good 237. However it all turned sour for him in games 7 and 8 when he could only manage a 152 and 138 to plummet from 2nd to 7th place. The last game was also very keen, as Mauro found himself in some trouble as he couldn’t double up, while Neil was gaining on him. However the gap was too wide, with Sullivan having to content with 2nd place. Dennis rolled his best game (254) to clinch the 3rd place. Mauro on the other hand deservedly won the title by an advantage of 89 pins.