Tenpin Bowling: MTBA National Championships

Friday, August 29, 2014, 9:46

MTBA National Championships, 2014: Joint title retention for Sue Abela, Mauro Anastasi

Champions to compete in European Champions Cup, Reykjavik

The 2014 editions of the MTBA National Championships is the most anticipated local event in the tenpin bowling calendar, and has been organized by the MTBA and completed at the Eden SuperBowl, St. Julians. In a repeat of the 2013 edition, Mauro Anastasi managed to claim the second national title of his career in as many years, while Sue Abela made it 10-in a row in the ladies’ competition, making it a staggering 19 national crowns during her illustrious career.

Men’s Division: Steady improvement takes Anastasi to glory

Eventual men’s champion Mauro Anastasi, got off to a slower start that he would have hoped for during day one’s eight game session, the first of three for a 24-game tournament duration. In face it was a couple of low games (168, 150) among an otherwise sound block that saw him end the day in fourth place on 1605 pins. Ahead of him were Neil Sullivan in the top spot on 1649, followed by Mark Spiteri in second place (1625), with Justin Caruana Scicluna third on 1606 pins.

Mauro suffered another pair of poor games on day two (154, 164), but he displayed much better scoring pace in the remaining six, including highs of 247, and a pair of 257s, for a 1689 total on the day. His 3294 tally from sixteen games shot him up to the top of the standings, with Sullivan going second on 3216 as Rankin Camilleri improved from fifth to third place on 3209.

The best was yet to come for defending champion Anastasi, as the third block of eight rolled off and he started with a fine 251 game. Added to other sterling efforts of 220, 252, 233, 238 and 222 he ended with 1744 for the day (218 average), and a championship winning total of 5038 pins (209.9 ave).

Second place went to Neil Sullivan (4767, 198.6 ave) while third place actually changed hands again, going to Philip Gruppetta, whose day three efforts put him on a 4753 tally, 47 ahead of Mark Spiteri in fourth place.

Ladies’ Division: Evergreen Sue Abela racks up title No. 19

There are a bevy of talented female bowlers who are constantly snapping at the heels of perennial National Champion Sue Abela, but that did not stop the defending champion leading from the early games of the 2014 Championships, and carrying her form to re-establish her dominance of the local game, and retain her crown. She finished the opening day 65 ahead of the pack on 1566, with Melissa Swift lying second on 1501 ahead of Tiziana Carannante on 1431.

Abela’s game dipped on day two as, incredibly, she failed to breach the 200 mark over the eight games, shooting a 1474 for 3040 pins over sixteen. Luckily for her, her chasers were also a tad below the mark as Swift stayed second, 99 down on the top spot (2941), while Carannante held on to third with 2877.

Sue turned up fully charged and in fine fettle for her third block of eight, shooting five 200+ games including highs of 225, 231 and 216 to shoot a 1657 (207.1 ave) for the day. It was a fitting finish to rubber-

stamp Abela’s 19th championship title as she finished on 4697 (195.7) no fewer than 338 ahead of runner-up Swift (4359), while Joanna Attard managed to displace Carannante to take third place on 4320.

Mauro Anastasi and Sue Abela have now embarked on a dedicated training program under the guidance of National Coach, Rick Vogelesang, at facilities provided by the Eden SuperBowl. This is part of their intense preparations for participation in the European Champions Cup, to be held in Reykyavik (Iceland) this October.

Pic shows 2014 MTBA National Champions, Sue Abela and Mauro Anastasi at the 2013 ECC in Slovakia.

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