It was truly a family affair at the 4th annual Maccabi GB Tenpin Bowling tournament, held last Sunday at GoBowling, Dunstable. Maccabiah brothers Michael and Paul Loberman won the handicap and scratch sections respectively with outstanding displays of bowling.
Twenty one bowlers, disappointingly the lowest turnout for a Maccabi tournament to date, competed in a five game handicap set with the top 16 qualifying for the scratch knockout finals.
It was younger brother Michael who stole the show by destroying the record book and posting a world-class average of 246 across five games. Scores of 234, 236, 235, 256 and 259 secured the Freddie Loberman Memorial Trophy, dedicated in honour of his late father. First cousin Jamie Loberman scooped second position with older brother Paul finishing in third spot.
After a break for lunch, and the handicap trophy presentation, the knockout finals pitted the top eight seeds against the bottom eight in a best of three game format.
Michael Loberman continued his sparkling form, seeing off former Maccabiah bowlers Matthew Plax, Ricky Cohen and Tony Sharpstone in succession to make it through to the grand final. In the bottom half of the draw, it was Paul who began to pick up the pace, comfortably knocking out Barry Bluston, Linda Isaacs and cousin Jamie to set up a grand final meeting with his brother.
The final did not disappoint and surely goes down as one of the most impressive head-to-head contests of all time. The scores were closely matched after five frames of each game, but Paul's consistency in hitting the pocket saw him rack up a number of consecutive strikes which saw him home comfortably with scores of 258 and 259 respectively against Michael's 207 and 204.
Paul finished with an average of 232 and Michael with 228 on the day. Proud mother Barbara Loberman was on hand to present the Shield and runner-up trophy to both sons.
In the third/fourth place play off, Sharpstone capped a consistent day's bowling with a 2-1 win over Jamie Loberman to pick up the third place trophy. A special mention must also be made of Linda Isaacs and Fran Da Costa, the only two ladies in the tournament, with Isaacs finishing in sixth position in the handicap event.
Committee President and tournament organiser, Matthew Plax, was delighted with the quality of bowling. "This was without doubt, the best display of bowling seen at a Maccabi event. The likelihood is that Michael's new record average will not be surpassed for many years to come. His bowling was faultless in the first section of play and he would have given any professional bowler a run for his money."
However, it wasn't all good news for the tournament. Plax said: "It was an extremely disappointing turnout, with less than half the number of people that entered last year. There seemed to be a great deal of apathy despite the tournament date being announced several months ago."
The weekly doubles handicap league continues every Tuesday night. To join an existing team, or to enter a new team, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.