The weekend witnessed a momentous occasion as the Brunswick Seniors Invitational rolled into action at Bowlarama Wetherill Park in New South Wales.
Bowlers hailing from every corner of the nation united for an unforgettable inaugural event. The competition was fierce as veterans in the sport vied for national titles in various divisions.
As is the case with a lot of senior-division ranked events, the task was straightforward. Bowlers were to complete 18 games and the bowlers with the highest pinfall within their division would be crowned champions.
The event saw three divisions in place with a female and male division as well as an over 60 division.
The women’s senior division witnessed an epic battle between two outstanding bowlers, Dena Buxton and Sue Cassell. Dena Buxton dominated the early stage of the tournament, showcasing her prowess with a jaw-dropping run from games two to eight averaging 231.71. Her total average of 222 over the first ten games placed her firmly atop the leaderboard, with a commanding 90-pin lead over Sue Cassell, a decorated member of the TBA Hall of Fame.
Not one to be deterred, Cassell roared back in the second stage, opening with an impressive 256 game that set the stage for her remarkable comeback. With consistency her forte, she never dropped below the 200 plus mark throughout day two. In a breathtaking finale, Sue Cassell finished with a total score of 3,880, securing the crown and leaving Dena Buxton in a close second place, only 45 pins behind. Jo Babic from South Australia clinched the bronze medal in a nail-biting finish over Victorian Karen Newman.
In the men’s division, Tasmanian legend Ashley Riley emerged as the undeniable champion, leaving a trail of awe in his wake. A revered figure in the bowling community, Riley’s masterful display of skills earned him the title after an exceptional showing at Bowlarama.
After stage one, Riley already claimed the top spot on the leaderboard, thanks to an astonishing average of 234.7 over his first ten games. The ever-consistent Michael Muir proved to be his closest challenger, trailing Riley by 56 pins. Glenn Rowland secured the third position, 77 pins adrift from the leader.
But Riley was far from finished. He intensified his performance in stage two, delivering a staggering average of 239.75, ultimately resulting in a total score of 4,265 (236.9 Avg). With this outstanding achievement, Ashley Riley solidified his status as one of the sport’s true legends. Michael Muir and Glenn Rowland held onto their respective positions, taking home well-deserved spots on the podium.
Over 60 Division
The over 60’s division showcased the wisdom and skill of seasoned bowlers, and the competition was nothing short of intense. A trio from NTS50 and NTS65 in Jim Karakostas, Jim Bakirtzidis, and David Farquharson, made an early impact, securing the top three positions after day one’s completion, all within 77 pins of each other.
However, it was Victorian Michael Holden who mounted an impressive surge in stage two, claiming the over 60’s crown. Following his fourth placed position after stage one, in stage two, Holden produced an impressive average of 224.25, leaving no room for doubt about his prowess. He finished with a total score of 3,834 (215.2 avg), securing victory over Jim Bakirtzidis by a close 48-pin margin. Mick Talevski completed the podium, showcasing incredible tenacity as he climbed from 9th position on day one to a remarkable third-place finish.
Tenpin Bowling Australia extends its appreciation to Chris and Annette Bateup of Bowlarama Wetherill Park for their gracious hospitality and impeccable organisation of the event. This was the first running of the event and if feedback is anything to go by, it won’t be its last.
As the fourth-ranked event for the Senior and Grand Senior divisions concluded, the excitement doesn’t end there. All eyes now turn to the thrilling conclusion of the season, with Tenpin Bowling Australia gearing up to unveil the details of the fifth and final event, the highly anticipated TBA50 National Championships in October. TBA will be providing details within the next fortnight. Stay tuned for more updates and get ready to witness even more bowling brilliance in the months to come!
290 – David Farquharson
Top Stage Performances
Stage 1 Males- Ashley Riley – 2,327
Stage 1 Females – Dena Buxton – 2,222
Stage 1 Over 60’s- Jim Karakostas – 2,182
Stage 2 Males – Ashley Riley – 1,918
Stage 2 Females – Sue Cassell – 1,748
Stage 2 Over 60’s – Mick Talevski – 1,833