The Euro Senior Championships are by far the largest event in the European Tenpin Bowling Federation calendar.
The 2015 tournament was held recently in Bologna, attracting well over a 1,000 participants, hailing from every corner of the continent.
The championships were the 24th in the series and the first time that Malta was represented by a three-man team – Paul Baldacchino, Mark Spiteri and Giancarlo Tolu – among a field which totalled a staggering 728 bowlers in competitions for males.
They competed in three qualification events, singles, doubles and team, after which the top six from each category (All Events) would progress to the final stages.
While the pairing of Baldacchino and Spiteri in the doubles produced a respectable 22nd placing from 143 teams, it was the singles tournament that brought success for Malta, with Spiteri shooting a 1,343 to place second on his championships debut.
Malta featured twice in the top ten as Baldacchino finished in eighth place (1,279).
The event was won by Israel’s Itzhak Dekel (1,375) while bronze went to Germany’s Stefan Korol.
Team Malta were painfully close to the silverware again in the teams, placing fifth on 3,664 over six games, a mere 19 pins down on the bronze medal position.
The title went to Sweden, with Switzerland claiming silver and Austria placing third.
Spiteri’s solid individual performance over the three events saw him amass an 18-game tally of 3,806 (211.4 average) which was enough to put him in fourth place in the All Events standings and a place in the final.
While Spiteri only managed to win two of his five encounters, impressive high games of 205, 224 and a pair of 278s were in-strumental in elevating him to the runner-up spot with a 5,034 (including 70 bonus points) to earn him second place overall.
The championships were won by Sweden’s Stefan Palmer. Jaako Polttila, from Finland, was third behind Spiteri.