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Maltese quartet for Bologna selected

Justin Caruana Scicluna (left) and Neil Sullivan.

Justin Caruana Scicluna (left) and Neil Sullivan.

Malta will be represented by a strong team of four leading players at the 19th Mediterranean Championships to be played at the Casalecchio di Reno centre, in Bologna, in April.

Neil Sullivan, Justin Caruana Scicluna, Sue Abela and Tiziana Carannante made the selection after the qualifying tournament at the Eden Superbowl.

Consistency was key in the women’s division, which was led from day one by Abela with Carannante also holding second place from the very early stages.

Abela’s opening set of eight saw her shoot an excellent 1,683 to set the standard. She easily held the top spot through day two, in spite of a lower 1,574 series, for a 3,257 interim total.

That put her 194 pins ahead of Tiziana in second place, the latter having shot a 1,546, followed by a 1,517 for 3,063. Joanna Attard was third on 2,829 pins with an uphill struggle on her hands over the final eight games.

Attard certainly gave it her best shot, outplaying Carannante’s day three total of 1,406 with a fine 1,618 effort, but missed out by just 22 pins with 4,447 from her 24 games, still behind Carannante on 4,469.

Abela’s latest success was a foregone conclusion on day three, when she bowled a 1,606 to finish in first place on 4,863 for 24.

There is no ‘Sue Abela’ like dominance among the men’s elite, with a good number of bowlers constantly vying to be top dog. Day one saw Caruana Scicluna take the top spot with a great 1,750 from eight, followed by national champion Dennis Mercieca on 1,696, and Kenneth Arpa on 1,678.

There was a pack of six quality bowlers closely chasing the top three, however, and while Caruana Scicluna did enough on day two to hold on to first place (1,627 pins), there was a change in second place which was taken over by Mauro Anastasi after a 1,699 set. Mercieca slipped to third with Sullivan just 30 pins down fourth.

Nothing was anywhere near decided but at the end of the day it was Sullivan who claimed the top spot with his 1,699 taking him to a 4,989 final total, knocking Caruana Scicluna down into the second qualifying spot on 4,973.

Anastasi missed out by 29 pins for third place while Mercieca finished fourth on 4,869.

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