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Malta wins first gold medal in Small Nations Cup


Malta’s Sue Abela and Justin Caruana Scicluna won the first gold medal in the inaugural Small Nations Cup when the duo captured the title in Mixed Doubles Thursday at Rose’n’Bowl in Serravalle, San Marino.

In the gold medal match against top-seeded Nantia Irodotou and Neoklis Erodotou of Cyprus, Abela toppled 192 pins and Scicluna added 190 for an easy 382-295 victory.

The duo from Cyprus, which totaled 2562 pins over six games, an average of 213.50, to beat out the Maltese for the No. 1 seed by 16 pins, eliminated the second team from Malta, fourth-seeded Sara Xuereb and Mauro Anastasi, in the semi-finals, 424-405.

In the other match, Abela and Scicluna ousted Iceland’s Magna Yr Hjalmtysdottir and Arnar David Jónsson, 448-428.

Irodotou & Erodotou earned the silver medal while Xuereb & Anastasi and Hjalmtysdottir & Jónsson shared the bronze medal.

Erodotou posted the field-best 1402 six-game series (233.67) in the preliminaries to take an 84-pin lead in men’s All-Events with Scicluna in second with 1318, Jónsson in third with 1279 and Anastasi in fourth with 1259.

On the women’s side, Abela leads with 1228 (204.67) with Hjalmtysdottir closed behind in second place with 1220 and Xuereb and Irodotou in third and fourth place with 1172 and 1160, respectively.

Action shifts to men’s and women’s Doubles on Friday starting at 9 a.m. Central European Time (CET) with the six-game preliminaries. The top four out of five teams advance to the medal round which begins at 1.30 p.m. with the semi-finals (No. 1 vs. No. 4 and No. 2 vs. No. 3). Following the medal presentation is the first block of three games in the Mixed Team event starting at 4.30 p.m.

Starting in 2017 the European Tenpin Bowling Federation’s Small Nations Cup will be conducted biennially. The inaugural SNC will be held from March 15-19, 2017 at the Rose’n’Bowl, an 18-laner in Serravalle in the Republic of San Marino.

Each participating country is represented by a team of two female and two male competitors.

Players from five countries, Cyprus, Iceland, Luxembourg, Malta and San Marino, compete for gold, silver and bronze medals in Mixed Doubles, men’s and women’s Doubles, Mixed Team and men’s and women’s Masters in the three-day event.

1st Small Nations Cup 2017 – Mixed Doubles Medal Round

Rose’n’Bowl in Serravalle, San Marino (March 16, 2017)

Championship Round:
1. Malta (Sue Abela, Justin Caruana Scicluna), 830 (2 games)
2. Cyprus (Nantia Irodotou, Neoklis Erodotou), 719 (2 games)
3. Iceland (Magna Yr Hjalmtysdottir, Arnar David Jónsson), 428 (1 game)
Malta (Sara Xuereb, Mauro Anastasi), 405 (1 game)

Pictured above from left to right: Small Nations Cup medalists Cyprus (silver), Malta (gold), Malta (bronze) and Iceland (bronze).

Playoff Results:
Semi-final Match 1:
No. 1 Cyprus (Irodotou 211/Erodotou 213) def.
No. 4 Malta (Xuereb 181/Anastasi 224), 424-405
Semifinal Match 2:
No. 2 Malta (Abela 213/Scicluna 235) def.
No. 3 Iceland (Hjalmtysdottir 202/Jónsson 226), 448-428
Gold Medal Match:
Malta (Abela 192/Scicluna 190) def.
Cyprus (Irodotou 146/Erodotou 149), 382-295.

1st Small Nations Cup 2017 – Mixed Doubles Preliminaries

Top 4 advance to the medal round. No 1 bowls No. 4 and No 2 takes on No. 3 in the semi-finals.

Herbert Bickel

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