Jake Sharpstone was the star of the third annual Maccabi GB tenpin bowling tournament in Dunstable.
The 14-year-old son of 2005 Maccabiah bowler Tony, bowled a career best 256 and walked away with the Freddie Loberman Memorial Trophy and the award for the highest handicap score. Sharpstone narrowly lost out on yet another trophy, eventually losing to Michael Loberman in the knockout tournament’s 3rd/4th place play off.
The competition featured bowlers turning out in their numbers to honour the memory of Freddie Loberman, a Maccabi bowling stalwart, who sadly passed away last year. The standard of bowling was exceptional with four bowlers recording averages of well over 200.
Matthew Plax, the committee’s chairman, had nothing but praise for the youngster. “Jake’s performance was truly exceptional. He was competing against the best Jewish bowlers in the country and he showed ability and maturity well beyond his years. If he continues to display the commitment and passion which he showed, his future is very bright indeed.”
Jake was recently selected to represent Bedfordshire at Under 18 level and whilst he is too young to represent Great Britain at next year’s Maccabiah, he is hopeful of making the 2013 event. Sharpstone’s performance was almost eclipsed by a near-perfect game from eventual tournament champion Paul Loberman. In the final against fellow Maccabiah hopeful Ricky Cohen, Loberman rolled 11 consecutive strikes whilst a crowd of spectators gathered in anticipation of a rare 300. But the ten pin was left standing on the penultimate ball and he finished with an impressive 289.
That game was preceded by a score of 247, meaning Loberman lifted his second championship in three years.
Loberman paid tribute to his father. “I haven’t bowled much since my father passed away, so to play well and beat three European Maccabi Games medal winners in the knockout stages felt incredible on such an emotional day for my family. I’d like to dedicate this victory to my dad to whom I will always be grateful for getting me started in this sport.”
In the ladies’ competition, Ruth Daich took first place, followed by Linda Isaacs in second and Fran Dee in third.
Trials are now under way for the men’s Maccabiah squad and Maccabi GB are hopeful that a ladies team will also travel to Israel for the first time since 1993. For more information, contact one of the committee members at http://www.maccabibowling.com or apply online at http://www.maccabigb.org.