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XUEREB, ARPA WIN PLATINUM CUP

The third annual Platinum Cup attracted a record entry of 44 tenpin bowlers of various levels, with 29 participants in the male division and 15 ladies, with teenage starlet Sara Xuereb and Kenneth Arpa winning their respective events.

Ladies Division: Xuereb beats bowling idol Sue Abela in grand final

Typically, it was Sue Abela who led the female event from the outset, qualifying in the top spot on 2587 over twelve games ahead of Cynthia Duca (2469), Sara Xuereb (2404), Michaela Briffa (2371), Tiziana Carannante (2338) and Stephanie Said (2291) in second to sixth place respectively.

The group of six, made up of an impressive mix of age, youth and experience then went on to play in the penultimate Round Robin stage, with only 50% of their previous score carried forward.

Valuable bonus points for wins and draws were added to scores from each bowler’s five head-to-head matches, and National Sport School pupil Sara Xuereb managed to take over the lead, thanks to an incredible series (241-204-240-243-243), and a 100% win record for a further 100 bonus pins.

Abela found herself in the unusual position of lying second, having won three from five following a couple of below-par games. Third place and the last spot in the Ladies’ Stepladder Final went to Michaela Briffa, who also managed to pick up 3 match wins.

Michaela then face Sue in the ladies’ Semi-Final over one game, and it was Abela all the way with a run of strikes and spares, as Briffa suffered an unlucky patch of open frames. Sara Xuereb was next up for Sue in the Grand Final, the latter needing to win twice from the underdog position.

The youngster was up for the challenge, but Abela narrowly took game one 213 – 224 to force the second game. It was Sue’s turn for some cruel splits and open frames this time, while Sara kept her cool, closing all but one frame for a winning 206 effort , against Abela’s low 174.

Men’s Division: Spiteri shaken by Mark Serge – Arpa prevails in Final

Although consistently one of Malta’s top tenpin bowlers, the winner’s podium has eluded Kenneth Arpa for some time. However he played his twelve qualifying games with supreme determination, leading on 1320 after six, and holding the top spot with 2551 after twelve.

He was joined in the men’s Round Robin by (2nd through 6th): Mark Spiteri (2521), Mauro Anastasi (2494), Justin Caruana Scicluna (2472), Mark Serge (2452) and Mark Muscat (2448).

Arpa maintained hid form to stay top with four wins from five in the Round Robin, and Spiteri also kept his position in spite of only picking up two match wins from his set.

The surprise package of the tournament to date had definitely been Mark Serge, and indeed it was Mark that went through to the finals in third place, after a poor start followed by a strong finish with three match wins.

The two Marks, Spiteri and Serge then faced of in the male Semis, and Serge proved yet again proved that he was no pushover, bowling well against the greatly experienced Spiteri, only missing out on the Grand Final by a mere ten pins (211 – 201, Spiteri).

The men’s final was played to a similar script as that of the ladies, with second seed Mark Spiteri taking the thrilling opening game 233 – 245, and so the second game was required.

Spiteri too was plagued by unlucky splits in four of his frames, while Arpa’s grit and precision came through for him to win it 210 – 163, and so claim the men’s Platinum Cup 2015 title.
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Wednesday, January 24, 2018
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