The Maccabi GB Tenpin Bowling season concluded with the annual tournament rounding up events in typically special fashion.
The league finished on 27th May, with I Don’t Care Really (Paul Freedman, Charlie Sassienie, Daz Sassienie and Russ Snipper) ending up comfortable winners with a couple of weeks left to play.
Captain Russ Snipper finished the season with the high series, bowling a pretty special 806 with handicap. Thomas Cookies – comprised of Maurice Baum, Steven Caplin and captain Geoff Isaacs – finished second, with FRED (Teddy Littner and Richard Da Costa) rounding off the top three. Paul Hart won the season’s average buster, although special mention goes to newcomer Paul Dobkin who led for a large part of the season, before a late surge from Maccabiah Games veteran Hart in the last few weeks of the season.
The Maccabi GB Tenpin Bowling tournament – the traditional season closer (and also the site for the Team Maccabi GB Trials for the European Maccabi Games 2015 in Berlin) saw some relative newcomers finish victorious. Russell Shear, a first time entrant, bowled a brilliant 267 game, taking home the high game trophy, winning the Freddie Loberman Memorial Trophy, and the overall Tournament, at the first time of asking. Fran Da Costa finished second and was presented with a trophy for her services to Jewish Bowling and bowling in general. Youngster Johnny Mervish finished third.
The scratch knockout stage was won by Ian Davis on his return to bowling after eight months out following the birth of his daughter. Runner-up was Makkabi Sweden bowler Patrik Goldberg, taking home a trophy for the second time in two years. Davis won the first game 207-192, Goldberg comfortably winning the second 191-149 before Davis found some form in the last to win 189-168. Richard Kneip took third place.
The big shocks, however, happened in the Handicap section. Johnny Mervish surprised everyone, winning his quarter and semi-finals 2-1, before losing in the final to Craig Grant. Mervish entered the tournament with an average of 132, but bowled 165 average in the finals. Grant bowled very well in the finals, not dropping a game and eventually wore down the youngster to win his first Maccabi GB Tenpin Bowling Tournament trophy. Last year’s runner up, Howard Panas, got some revenge against last year’s winner Andrew Brill to finish third.
Reflecting back on the League, in terms of competitiveness and what it has to offer, Snipper, MGB’s tenpin bowling chair, team manager for the team at next year’s Berlin European Games, and president of the Maccabi tenpin bowling league, said: “The standard of bowling this season has been higher than previous seasons. On the whole, everybody seems to understand how to improve their game, and this season has really shown that.
“Whilst it is a league and there is some friendly competition, we’re also very friendly and sociable. It’s a place to meet new people, catch up with old friends and compete in a sport which is becoming ever more popular every day.”
And looking for more people to join the League for the new season, says: “You don’t need to be a 200+ average bowler to join. Averages in the league range from 120-200, and bowlers of all abilities are given the chance to compete at national level and try out at international level. One of our new bowlers started the season having bowled twice in his life and he just kept getting better and better, competing for the average buster individual prize at the end of the season.
“Jewish bowling at the moment is doing well, but can be doing better. We’ve got a great bunch of young bowlers coming through, like Craig Grant, Russ Shear and Jonny Mervish. However, the sport always needs new blood, young and old, regardless of ability, to keep progressing and getting better year on year.”
The season will start again in August/September – the league is always looking for bowlers, regardless of ability. If you’re interested in forming a team, contact league chairman Russ Snipper via email at email@example.com