2012 Tenovar National Championships Youth titles claimed by Michaela Briffa, Claude Camilleri

Thursday, December 6, 2012, 16:42

The MTBA has held the 2012 TENOVAR National Intermediate Championships at the Eden SuperBowl. The TENOVAR Intermediates are open for bowlers aged 23yrs or under, often also referred to as the Youth Championships. The eventual winners after the various stages were Michaela Briffa in the female division, and Claude Camilleri from the male competition.


The first ‘qualifying’ round comprised two six-game sessions, for simple total pinfall over all twelve games, after which the top  six qualifiers in each division would go on to compete in a second ‘round robin’ stage over five head-to –head games. Then, as an exciting finale to the championships, the top three male and female bowlers after the round robin, would play in the stepladder finals to decide this year’s TENOVAR youth champions.


MALE DIVISION: Camilleri leads from the get go

Claude Camilleri topped the male field from day one, from the very first game in fact, never faltering during the twelve game qualification. He shot a very good 1258 on day one (211.4 ave), bolstered by a solid back three of 221-213-213. Philip Gruppetta (1113) and Mathew Cossai (1034) followed in second and third respectively.


Day two saw a drop in pace for Camilleri, his disappointing 1037 set leaving him on 2295 over twelve (191.2). Philip Gruppetta shot the series of the day with a 1143, but that just wasn’t enough to knock Claude from the top spot, Gruppetta staying second on 2256 (188 ave), ahead of Matthew Cossai (2121).


Camilleri stayed top in the round robin, winning all of his games and also picking up further extra pins for three 190+ games. That guaranteed his place in the grand final as top seed. The remaining stepladder places were taken by Gruppetta and Cossai, just as they had qualified from round one. It wan’t Philip Gruppetta’s day, as he went out to Matthew Cossai in the first final game after some unlucky key frames, 199 – 203 the game score.


Matthew then met top seed Claude Camilleri for the male final, but didn’t manage to retain his semi-final form in spite of actually getting off to a brighter start than his opponent. The game finished 168 – 193 in Camilleri’s favour, to earn him the title of the 2012 TENOVAR National Intermediate Champion.


FEMALE DIVISION: Michaela Briffa prevails over Xuereb siblings

The day one leader in the girls’ competition was Sara Xuereb on 867 (145.7 ave), ahead of her sister, Raquel on 790 (132.8). Third place belonged to Maria Spiteri at the half-way stage, with 785 pins (131.9).


It was all change in the second set if six games, as Raquel Xuereb took over at the top of the standings after a good 949 set, to finish on 1739 (144.9), ahead of Sara whose 791 left her in second place, on a 1658 total (138.1 ave). The best result of the day came from Michaela Briffa who started the series in fifth place, and rallied to claim third place (1627, 135.5 ave).

Briffa improved further during the ladies’ round robin, winning three from five to take over at the top of the table, and book her spot in the final clash. Sara Xuereb improved to second place after also claiming three wins, while the final stepladder spot was clinched by Special Olympics bowler, Maria Spiteri.


The semi-final game between Maria and Sara was extremely close, going right down to the wire, the eventual winner being Sara Xuereb by a mere two pins (137 – 135), meaning she went on to meet Briffa in the girls’ final.


Sara, competing in the U-23 final at only eleven years of age, opened with a 150 – 133 victory but, as the lower seed, she knew she would have to also win the next game in order to claim the title. For top seed, Rachael, all that was required was a single game win in spite of the game one result, and she managed to pull it off with a 154 – 135 game two win, and so be crowned 2012 TENOVAR Intermediate Champion.


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