An excellent turnout of 44 intermediate level tenpin bowlers, have participated in the 2016 edition of the MTBA Gold Cup tournament.

This ever popular tournament is competed in two separate divisions for male and female bowlers, adopting a handicapping system to ensure a more even playing field.

Female Division: Dedication pays off for Duca

Cynthia Duca has seen a steady improvement in her game thanks to a disciplined training regime, under the coaching team of Mark Spiteri and Dennis Mercieca, and is certainly seeing the dividends.

She took the lead in the ladies’ event three games into the six game series on day one, finishing the set in the top spot on 1266 pins, 60 pins ahead of Juliana Bonanno, and 69 ahead of Amanda Cini.

Duca managed to keep that pace up in the back six on day two, qualifying for the final stages on 2552 pins (2528 net, 210.6 ave), having also rolled an outstanding 286 in game nine.

Juliana Bonanno went through in second place on 2349, while Liliana Spiteri qualified in third place on 2320. Joining the trio in the Round Robin stage were Amanda Cini, Raquel Xuereb and Josephine Borg.

Only 50% of the qualifying pinfall was carried forward to the Round Robin, and a system of extra bonus points was applied for match wins and ties, to be added to the game scores.

Cynthia only had one slip up, losing her second match with a low 160, but managed to win the other four, for some valuable bonus points over and above some good game scores.

That kept her in first place and sure of a place in the ladies’ grand final. The other two finalists were Juliana Bonanno and Liliana Spiteri, who both managed to win two of their five head-to-heads.

Bonanno prevailed in the Ladies’ Semi-Final, beating Spiteri 176 – 166 to make the Final, knowing that as the lower seed, she would have to beat Duca twice in order to win the Gold Cup title.

The second game wasn’t necessary in the end however, as Cynthia Duca won it in one very tight game, 192 – 190 to retain the title she won in 2015.

Male Division: Paul Gray celebrates victorious return

As was the case in the Ladies’ event, Paul Gray, newly returned to the tenpin bowling scene, established a lead over the 30+ strong male field during day one, and practically never looked back.

He led with a solid 1318 (net 1276, 212.6 ave), chased by Shaun Montanaro in second on 1285, with Nick Mangion in third on 1258.

Gray held his dominant position with a good 1233 set on day two to qualify as top seed on 2551 (net 2467, 205.5 ave), there was a strong challenge from Matthew Agius Inglott, who improved from seventh up to second place, his 1230 series giving him a qualifying total of 2466, 22 pins ahead of Nick Mangion in third place. The other three qualifiers in fourth through sixth place were Matthew Attard, Giancarlo Tolu and Luke Burke.

Paul was slow to find his pace in the Round Robin, but picked up to win four from five and remain top seed, as Luke Burke shot up from sixth to second, also with four wins and some impressive game scores. The las spot in the men’s finals went to Nick Mangion.

Luke Burke carried his Round Robin form into the Semi Final with Mangion, easily winning it 215 – 144 to earn his spot in the Final, where he was then defeated by the returning veteran, 194 – 180 the match score.

Apart from their titles and trophies, Cynthia and Paul received prizes valued at €600 in cash and MTBA tournament vouchers, while the runners up were awarded with a free entry into a national tournament of their choice, all courtesy of the Malta Tenpin Bowling Association.
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Friday, September 21, 2018
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