TEN PIN BOWLING : MSV Life National League, Week 17
Okmalta.com, Ramis still locked in battle for second place
MIA, St. James fighting to avoid the drop
Having already claimed the MSV Life National League title with two weeks to spare, new champions Fina took a back seat in the penultimate week’s Division I fixtures, losing 2 – 6 to Bowlers on Strike. Meanwhile, okmalta.com and Ramis are taking their battle for second place down to the final week, after respective 6 – 2 and 0 – 8 victories left them four points apart, with eight up for grabs in week 18. At the other end of the table, Gladiators are finally confirmed for relegation, their four-all draw with MIA not being enough to keep their fading hopes alive. The second relegation spot will also be decided in the final week, MIA holding a four point advantage over St. James Hospital, who slumped 8 – 0 against Turu’s Knights this week.
Champions Fina may have dropped their guard in week 17, safe in the knowledge that their title is in the bag, as they went down 2 – 6 against Bowlers on Strike, after a rather lacklustre performance. Fina did pick up the early points with a 748 – 716 game one win, but it went downhill from here as their opponents levelled it with a 743 – 785 win in the second, and then made sure of the match by taking the third 701 – 708. Bowlers on Strike are currently sixth and can’t hope to improve on that in their final match against Ramis. Claude Camilleri (Bowlers on Strike), 581. Kenneth Arpa (Fina), 595.
Second place okmalta.com are four up on Ramis after their 100% victory over Royal Shock this week, so the battle for second place will go to the final fixtures of the season. They won the opener 689 – 726, and acked that up with a 735 – 757 game two win to double their lead. Their best game came in the third which they won 728 – 790 to round off the whitewash. Royal Shock are fourth, and will be looking to avoid slipping to fifth in their final clash with MIA. Neil Sullivan (okmalta.com), 635. Male bowler of the week. Pierre Yves Galea (Royal Shock), 507.
Ramis dropped two points in their week 17 victory over HepO2 Acorn, to make their final attempt to steal second place from Ramis just a little more tricky. They lost out in the first of the set as HepO2 Acorn drew first blood with a great 756 – 815 victory, but the tables were completely turned in game two, which fell 742 – 682 to Ramis. The latter then won the deciding third game 784 – 744, to bag the series by 41 pins (2282 – 2241). Ray Falzon Reale (Ramis), 565. Sammy Borg (HepO2 Acorn), 624. Ramis have the toughest final day challenge, facing Bowlers on Strike, whereas okmalta.com are sure favourites to claim the runners-up spot, facing under-threat St. James Hospital in week 18.
Turu’s Knights can still nick fourth place, after a good 8 – 0 victory over St. James this week. The Knights never really looked like dropping any points in the encounter, as they opened with a 731 – 679 win, improving to take game two 763 – 706 for a sound 109 series advantage after two. Their best was yet to come however, and they took the final game 782 – 639 for an easy full-point victory. Tiziana Carannante (Turu’s Knights), 553. Ernest Agius (St. James), 542.
MIA are still not out of the woods, after only managing a four-all draw against Gladiators, who had their relegation confirmed by the result. It was a very shabby encounter, MIA winning the first game with a poor 669 – 649 score line, before Gladiators managed to level it with a 649 – 766 win in game two. They would be thankful of that big pin discrepancy in game two, as MIA came back to take the third 709 – 664, meaning that the series went to Gladiators by a mere two points on the set (2027 – 2079), although that was not enough to give them any kind of a survival lifeline. Steve Cassar (MIA), 517.
Bowlers of the Week:
Neil Sullivan (okmalta.com), 635
Sue Abela (Fina), 562
MSV Life Division I Standings: Week 17
Fina – 110 (Champions), okmalta.com – 96, Ramis – 92, Royal Shock – 78, Turu’s Knights – 74, Bowlers on Strike – 66, HepO2 Acorn – 60, MIA – 38, St. James Hospital – 34, Gladiators (relegated) – 28