Sisters take silver in Melbourne
Sisters Sue Abela and Melissa Anastasi obtained the best result for Malta during the recently-held Commonwealth Bowling Championships which were played at the Oz Tenpin Bowling Centre in Melbourne, Australia.
Abela and Anastasi finished second in the doubles event. The Malta team also included Brian Farrugia and Ray Falzon Reale. The latter managed a creditable seventh placing in the Masters.
They were accompanied by Team Manager Leli Baldacchino and Julian Pace Bonello, Malta Tenpin Bowling Association (MTBA) president and head of the Commonwealth Tenpin Bowling Federation.
In Australia, the team was supported by the MTBA and the Malta Olympic Committee. In their preparation, the selected bowlers benefited from the National Coaching Scheme, an initiative sponsored by the Eden Leisure Group.
Besides the close family relationship, Abela and Anastasi compliment each other in the sport, making them play more confidently on such occasions.
In Melbourne, they had a couple of low individual scores but lifted their game when it mattered most to finish second with a remarkable total of 2,349, peaking with a joint 482 in game five, the highest of the doubles tournament.
England's Fiona Banks and Katie Jowsey took gold by only 70 pins (2,419) while third place went to Ann-Maree Putney and Tracey Madden, of Australia.
Abela had the best score in individual play. In the women's singles she rolled a good average of 195.8 and a 1,175 total. Her effort, however, could only reward her with a modest ninth placing from 32 competitors. Anastasi was 12th (1,144).
In the men's singles Falzon Reale had a six-set of 1,140 for 13th place and Farrugia 1,103 to finish 18th.
Putney won the women's title and Englishman John Zadel was the top bowler in the men's singles.
In the Team Event, the Maltese almost clinched a podium position. They finished on a 4,757 total, a mere 39 down on Team England. Canada won the title ahead of Australia.
In men's doubles, Farrugia and Falzon Reale did not adapt easily to the lane conditions. They finished 15th in the overall standings.
In mixed doubles, Farrugia/Abela and Falzon Reale/Anastasi placed 12th and 13th respectively from a total of 32 teams. Remarkably, both finished on identical totals of 2,307. England 2 were the winners of this competition.
Falzon Reale fared better in the Masters competition. Although only winning two of his head-to-head encounters, his consistent high-rolling saw him climbing to third place with a real chance of making the stepladder finals. However, his second block of six saw his game suffer, leaving him in seventh place.
Abela and Anastasi also played in the Masters but with little success - Anastasi finishing 11th and Abela 12th. Banks and home player George Frilingos were the winners.