Strong finish propels Martina Beckel, Pekka Tiironkoski to victory in Arthur's 10th Senior Open


    2015 ISBT #2



    2015ISBT02PekkaTiironkoskiMartinaBeckel.jpgGermany's Martina Beckel and Pekka Tiironkoski of Finland (pictured left, r-l) captured the women's and men's titles in Arthur's 10th Senior Open, the second stop of the 2015 International Seniors Bowling Tour, which concluded Sunday at Vegas Bowling in Osnabrück, Germany. This year, a total of 100 players representing 10 countries - 81 men and 19 women - took part.

    The photo shows the men's and women's finalists with tournamnet organizer Arthur Dähn (right).

    The format for the tournament was two blocks of six games qualifying, with re-entries allowed, and a number of Early Bird and Turbo qualification places.

    Age bonus started at age 51 (1 pin per game), then increased a pin for every additional year of age with no limit. As with all ISBT events, there was a separate division for ladies. The tournament was played on the Brunswick version of the Kegel Middle Road pattern, which generally provides a reasonable scoring condition.

    Qualification started a full week before the finals on Saturday and Robert Vallons of Belgium took the first squad with 1286 including age bonus. Cathrien Bosch, Netherlands, set the pace for the ladies with 1192. Vallons also took the second squad with an improved score of 1355 and Gisela Insinger of Germany had a good 1239 to start her qualification.

    There were more squads the next day. Ralf Gräwe took the first squad by just two pins from fellow German Erich Caspari with Elke Gräwe taking the ladies lead with 1221. The final squad of the first weekend was again won by Ralf and Elke Gräwe.

    Qualification continued on Wednesday with three small squads. Dutch John Bosch came out on top on Wednesday with 1286. The lone woman bowler that day was Sharon Le Louarn of Jersey.

    There were three more squads on Thursday, the first being won by Finn Timo Mäkelä with 1361. Two-time World Champion Martina Beckel of Germany made her first appearance, easily leading the squad with 1285.

    In the second squad of the day, the first 1400 block was bowled by Rolf Schüttforth of Germany hitting 1400 exactly. Beckel continued with another strong block of 1270 to lead the ladies qualification. The final squad of the day was won by Steve Carnall, England, with 1451, including a 300 last game. Bozena Pajak of Poland was the lone woman in the squad and scored 1189.

    Friday was a busy day with many of the competitors with a long way to travel arriving. The scoring pace was still improving, Peter Knopp of Germany, a familiar face on the PBA50 Tour, led the first squad with 1408 just ahead of Raimo Palokoski of Finland with 1392.

    Henny van der Jagt, Netherlands, had a fine 1157 in the ladies section. The strong Scandinavian showing was continued by Juha Lehtikangas, Finland, in the next squad with 1380. Italian Maria Grazia Locatelli led the ladies with 1106.

    Two English players took the third squad of the day. Ron Oldfield hit 1465 and Angie Brown scored 1264. The last squad of the day saw a final 1400 block, this time by Alan Keddie of Scotland with 1414, Alessandra Morra of Italy, who won the season-opening event of the Tour in Reims, France, in January, led in the women's section with 1277.

    Four more squads were bowled on the final Saturday, starting with an early 8am squad. Mäkelä found the early start no problem and scored 1462 with Pajak being the top lady on 1141. In the second squad, Belgian André Geelen led with 1480, while Brown took another squad win with 1208 to move into second place in the overall rankings.

    The top seven men would miss the early start on finals day. After the second squad of the day, Giorgio Desimio of Belgium was just hanging in on 7th place with 2699, but there was still opportunity for those below to improve their positions.

    The third squad saw Mo Singleton of England lead with 1342 to secure a finals place. Hillevi Huhta, Finland, shot 1228 to improve her position into a qualification position.

    The final qualifying squad saw bowlers trying to gain a finals place or make a top 7 position. Top male player was Tiironkoski with 1415, while Morra had 1239 to improve her place in the ladies standings.

    The final qualification rankings saw Geelen at the top with 2917, some distance ahead of Oldfield (2842) and Mäkelä (2823). Seventh qualifier and the last to miss the first finals round was Carnall with 2726.

    The cut for the final place at 25th place was Willy Ebel of Germany on 2631. These qualifiers would be joined by six Early Bird and four Turbo qualifiers in the final stages. In the women's qualification, Beckel led with 2555 from Morra (2516) and Brown (2472). Huhta was sixth and last qualifier with 2401, thanks to her final qualification block. Two Early bird and two Turbo qualifiers would join these six in the final.

    The men placed 8 to 25 with the other qualifiers had an early start on Sunday for the first finals round. Hermann ' The German' Wimmer comfortably won this four-game round with 890, ahead of Pekka Tiironkoski and Lol Ellis of England.

    Only the top eleven would go forwards to the next round, this place was taken by Peter Knopp, just putting out tournament host Arthur Dähn by six pins.

    The second final round saw the top eleven from the previous round being joined by the top seven qualifiers for a further four games. Ellis came out on top with 1020 ahead of Klaus-Uwe Lischka of Germany and Tiironkoski. Only the top ten bowlers would make the final round. Last man in was Erich Caspari with 873.

    2015ISBT02MenTop3.jpgThe final round for the men was a further four game block with pinfall from the previous round being carried through. A blistering block of 929 scratch from Pekka Tiironkoski put him well ahead of the field and a earned him well-deserved victory. Ron Oldfield finished second with Lol Ellis (pictured left, r-l) back in third place.

    2015ISBT02WomenTop3.jpgThe ten qualifying ladies also bowled an initial four game block. Steady bowling by Angie Brown resulted in a 39 pin lead over Elke Gräwe. Only four women would make the final. The top two were joined by Gisela Insinger and Martina Beckel, who just scraped in by 4 pins after striking out for a 246 last game.

    The final round of a further four games saw Brown's lead eroded by Martina Beckel (center), who took the lead after three games and romped home to a clear win. Angie Brown (left) finished second, just ahead of Gisela Insinger (right).

    ISBTLogo_small.jpg The next stop is the Alsace Senior Open, which will be held from April 9-12 at Crystal Bowling in Wittelsheim, France. Full details are available at the ISBT website.

    Courtesy of Tony Brown.


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