Justin Caruana Scicluna captures title

Thursday, February 2, 2012, 12:04

Justin Caruana Scicluna has been crowned the TENOVAR Masters Champion for 2012. The tournament, sponsored by Tenovar Ltd., was played over three days at the Eden Superbowl, and Caruana Scicluna claimed his title on Sunday morning, after beating Sue Abela in the thrilling Grand Final.

On Saturday afternoon, the top six bowlers from Tuesday’s qualifying session over six games joined the MTBA’s top six seeds, based on the composite average records from 2011. The latter were given an automatic pass to the second stage, which comprised a further six games, to determine the top eight for the final stages on Sunday. The eight qualifiers for the Round Robin stage were (in order of qualification): Mauro Anastasi, Ray Falzon Reale, Sue Abela, Mark Spiteri, Rankin Camilleri, Dennis Mercieca, Justin C Scicluna and Neil Sullivan.

Left to right: Ray Falzon Reale, Mark Spiteri, Justin Caruana Scicluna and Sue Abela.

Left to right: Ray Falzon Reale, Mark Spiteri, Justin Caruana Scicluna and Sue Abela.

The considerable number of spectators that turned out to watch Sunday’s decisive matches, were treated on a spectacular level of bowling in the round robin (quarter finals), as Mark Spiteri lead the group of 8 with a 219.7 game average, for a total of 1538 from his seven games, bolstered to 1648 by several bonuses awarded for game wins, draws and also high games. Spiteri qualified for the Knock Out Semi Finals in first place, followed by Ray Falzon Reale, Justin C Scicluna and Sue Abela from second to fourth respectively.

The two semi final matches were each played over two games for the highest total pinfall, with the top qualifier against fourth (Spiteri vs Abela), and second against third place (Falzon Reale vs Caruana Scicluna).

After his early consistency, Mark could not get back ‘into the zone’ in this penultimate phase, and found himself 32 pins down on Abela after game one. He regained his composure in the second game, rolling a solid 244 to Sue’s 219. A better effort, but still not enough to close the game one gap, meaning Sue Abela won the encounter 415 – 422.

In the second semi final clash, Ray Falzon Reale pipped Justin Caruana Scicluna in the opening game by just 13 pins (225 – 212), but the tables were turned in game two which saw Justin bang in eight strikes for a score of 228 to Ray’s 191, making the youngster a 416 – 440 winner, and earning him a place in the grand final, against his own mother, Sue Abela.

The final match was played to a ‘best out of three’ game format, Sue going into the match with a 3-0 record in previous matches against her son. She took the early advantage by narrowly clinching the first game, 181 – 176, but Justin was quick to respond by taking the second game 177 – 218 to go level, necessitating the deciding third game. Justin’s fight back buoyed the young star against his illustrious mum, and he kept his cool to give one last tournament-winning performance, winning it 172 – 167 for the match, and coveted crown of 2012 Tenovar Masters Champion.

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