FINA have been crowned as the new MAPFRE MSV Life National League champions. The league was characterised by an entertaining fight between the reigning champions Okmalta.com and Team Fina. Their friendly rivalry has now become the highlight of the league producing performances of international standard. The top players from these 2 teams claim 8 of the top 10 individual player rankings in Malta.
The league remained undecided till the end with okmalta.com remaining mathematically in contention till the end. However, Fina never let it slip out of their hands and the new champions were determined to return back to their old winning days. Team Fina are the most decorated team in the anals of Maltese bowling, having now won 23 of the last 40 titles. Their player Matthew Magro became the youngest player to win a championship title at age 15.
Team Ramis edged to third place being chased all the way by the improving Turu’s Knights. Ramis were an inconsistent side, at times edging ahead but failing to capitalise on their surges.
Paul Baldacchino scored the highest game of the season whilst Ranking Camilleri notched the best series. Sue Abela and Justin Caruana Scicluna set the highest individual averages throughout the league.
MIA won the second Division league and automatic promotion to 1st Division together with runners up JDS. Team ATLAS won the Third division title and will return to Division 2 where they are a familiar name. Team Scotsman Pub secured second place.
The match XS vs Supreme ended in a 6-2 win in favour of the former but nothing changed as XS retained 7th place, whereas Supreme stayed in 8th, both with just enough points to avoid relegation. Daniel Ricciari’s 594 and Benny Hili’s 543 were the best scores for this match for XS and Supreme respectively.
Okmalta.com were hoping they could win all, and maybe Fina would lose some points. However the complete opposite happened as they lost 4 points at the hands of already relegated Bank of Valletta. Okmalta.com in fact bowled uncharacteristically the 3rd worst series of the night, and although their first two games were good and won them 4 points, their 3rd game was a paltry 629 possibly writing history as their lowest game ever. Okmalta.com still ended as the runners up, while the bankers slipped to the ultimate position. A 608 by Rankin Camilleri for okmalta.com and a 572 by James Grech for Bank of Valletta were the best series for this game. Worth mentioning that James Grech bowled the game of his life when he rolled a 256 in game 3!
Ramis just needed 2 points to ensure 3rd place over plucky Turu’s and they did just that as they clinched the first game by 16 pins. The game was very slow as there was a lane breakage and all other teams had started their 3rd game, while they were still stuck in the 1st. Ironically Turu’s did manage to play the required pinfall to beat Ramis by 33 pins, but unfortunately for them, losing the 1st two points meant they had to content with 4th place yet again. The best scores were a 644 by Masaya Oishi who was also high male bowler of the week, and a 607 by Paul Baldacchino (Ramis).
Royal Shock were shocked into an 8-0 defeat at the hands of Satariano Hepo 2 in a well-balanced match. In fact Satariano won game 1 by 9 pins, game 2 by 5 pins and the 3rd by 44 pins. Unfortunately this 100% win only ensured that Satariano moved up a place from 10 to 9, but it did not change the fact that next season they will be relegated to division 2.
Final Standings Division 1:
Bank of Valletta
Final Standings Division 2:
One For All
MTBA Portal: www.bowlingmalta.org
MAPFRE MSV Life National League page: http://bowlingmalta.org/DIVI.html
PHOTO ATTACHED: TEAM FINA – League champions 2017
Malta Tenpin Bowling Association (MTBA)