Rankin Camilleri, Stephanie Said are new Intermediate Champions

Wednesday, January 19, 2011, 6:00

2010 National Intermediate Championships (U-23)

December saw the latest edition of the National Intermediate Championships, organised by the Malta Tenpin Bowling Association at the Eden SuperBowl. The Intermediates are open for tenpin bowlers falling into the Under-23 category, with separate divisions for male and female bowlers. Seeking to retain their titles for the third and fourth year respectively, were reigning champions Rankin Camilleri, and Tiziana Carannante.

The tournament format followed that of previous editions, with all bowlers playing sixteen qualifying round games, and the top six from each category advancing to the penultimate Round Robin stage. Then the top three male and female bowlers would face off in the stepladder finals.

2010 Intermediate Champions Stephanie Said and Rankin Camilleri, holding their deserved championship trophies

2010 Intermediate Champions Stephanie Said and Rankin Camilleri, holding their deserved championship trophies

Both defending champions began their defences well, both Camilleri and Carannante topping their divisions after the initial 8-game session. While Rankin narrowly led the male competition with a 1533 interim total, just 48 ahead of nearest rival Justin Caruana Scicluna, Tiziana garnered a much more comfortable 285 pin advantage, above second placed Steph Said (1215).

Day two was a different matter for Camilleri as he improved to an excellent session tally of 1737, meaning a qualifying total of 3270 (204.3 ave). With Caruana Scicluna slipping to third place (2856), Mathew Cossai was able to claim second with his 2907 wood total for sixteen games. Also making it through to the Round Robin were (4th – 6th), Claude Camilleri, Philip Grupetta and James Vassallo.

In the girls division, Carannante also held her dominant position, going through with 2816 pins, ahead of Steph Said in second on 2656, and Christabel Grima who was third on 2376. In the next round, the one-on-one confrontations would also feature extra bonus points awarded for wins, draws and also high games. These would be added to 50% of the points achieved in round one to decide the eventual finalists.

Rankin Camilleri was literally unbeatable in the round robin, winning all five encounters to rack up the bonuses remain in first place, making sure of a place in the male final. Matthew Cossai also gave a sound performance with no less than four match wins to retain second place, and the last stepladder spot went to Justin Caruana Scicluna, who claimed two wins from five.

So, on to the male finals, with Cossai facing Caruana Scicluna in the semi-final. That went to the latter with a 166 – 189 score line, sending Justin on to the final against Rankin Camilleri, knowing that as the lower seed, he would have to beat his opponent twice in order to take the title. That wasn’t to be as Camilleri made sure of the result in a single game, winning it 210 – 190 to hang on to his crown for one more year – his final year of competition in the Intermediates.

The three available spots in the girls’ stepladder finals were filled, exactly as they had qualified for the Round Robin, by Tiziana Carannante in first place, Steph Said in second and Christabel Grima in the third spot, meaning the latter two would meet in the semi-final match. Said had little trouble in seeing off Grima with a 178 – 140 victory, and so went on to face defending champion Carannante in the final match.

Again the top seed carried the advantage, so an initial 180 – 202 victory for underdog Said meant that things were all square, and the 2010 female title would be settled by the second deciding game. While that didn’t seem to faze the challenger at all, Carannante appeared to be feeling the pressure, losing with a poor 145 game against Steph Said’s 183 effort, which secured the 2010 Intermediate crown for her.

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