Dena Buxton and Tony Hamilton Reign Supreme in the TBA50 National Masters

By Matt Stevens
October 28, 2023

From the heart of the AGL National High-Performance Centre on the Sunshine Coast, two champions have risen in the 37th edition of the TBA50 National Masters.

In a nail-biting finale, both divisions saw Dena Buxton and Tony Hamilton preserving their leads until the very end, with several contenders hot on their heels. The duo now engraves their names as the 55th and 56th champions in this esteemed event’s history. 🏆

🌟 Buxton joins the ranks as the third Victorian female to clinch the title, following Sue Raphael in 2004 and the unmatched Jeanette Baker, whose seven-title reign remains unchallenged (2006, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2017, and 2018).

🌟 On the men’s side, Hamilton becomes the fifth Queensland male victor, joining the likes of Brian May (1998), Brian Looby (2005), Vaughan White (2006), and the recent Morty Douglass in 2021.

Leading Qualifiers:

• Cheryl Walduck (QLD) – 1,300 🌟

• Graeme Morgan (QLD) – 1,473 🌟

As the final day unfurled, the top 20 bowlers initiated stage two with pinfall carrying from the qualifying rounds.

🚺 Female Division: TBA Hall of Famer Sue Cassell commanded the lead after stage two, boasting a total of 2,502, with an impressive 208.5 average across 12 games. Our champion, Dena Buxton, secured the third seed position with a commendable 2,457. New Zealander Jho Balanay concluded as the 11th seed with 2,225.

🚹 Male Division: Bruno Maglieri continued his spectacular streak, sealing his position as the top seed with a cumulative score of 2,759 after 12 games, boasting an astonishing 229.9 average. Andrew Lloyd trailed by a mere 20 pins, and our champion, Tony Hamilton, was comfortably in the 7th spot with 2,527.

After stage two, the top 15 bowlers progressed to the third and concluding stage, where they went head-to-head in seven intense three-way matchplay games. All scores were reset, ensuring an even playing field.

🚺 Female Division: Dena Buxton showcased her prowess, winning five out of seven matches. Her final face-off against Madeline Fitzroy and Sue Cassell was a masterclass with a 223 game securing the 4 points and propelling her to the pinnacle with 22 points and 1,479 pins.

In a thrilling five-way tie for second, Jho Balanay from New Zealand emerged with the silver, missing out on the gold by just a whisker and becoming the first New Zealander female to win the title. Victoria’s Lee Booth rounded off the podium with the bronze putting a full stop on a successful week for the talented national training squad member.

🚹 Male Division: Tony Hamilton’s sublime performance mirrored Buxton’s, securing 22 points to clinch gold. The Queenslander would finish on a total of 1,570, averaging an incredible 224.3 in the finals. Winning four games, and three second places, Hamilton didn’t leave any game without points.

Andrew Lloyd, the previous champion, narrowly missed the top spot, bagging silver. Victoria’s Brett Smith completed the podium with the bronze.

🏅 Podiums

🚺 Female Division:

• 🥇 Gold – Dena Buxton – 22 points

• 🥈 Silver – Jho Balanay – 18 points

• 🥉 Bronze – Lee Booth – 18 points

🚹 Male Division:

• 🥇 Gold – Tony Hamilton – 22 points

• 🥈 Silver – Andrew Lloyd – 21 points

• 🥉 Bronze – Brett Smith – 17 points

🎯 Top 10 finishes:

Female Division

  1. Dena Buxton
  2. Jho Balanay
  3. Lee Booth
  4. Jennifer Burton-Douglas
  5. Sue Cassell
  6. Cheryl Walduck
  7. Melonie Lister
  8. Jo Babic
  9. Janet Baker
  10. Karen Commane

Male Division

  1. Tony Hamilton
  2. Andrew Lloyd
  3. Brett Smith
  4. Bruno Maglieri
  5. Robin Sands
  6. Morty Douglass
  7. Pete Richardson
  8. Garry Crick
  9. David Carmichael

Grand Senior Titles:

Kudos to Garry Crick (Tas) and Heather Robertson (QLD) for their commendable achievements!

Podium for Female Grand Seniors:

  • 🥇 Gold – Heather Robertson
  • 🥈 Silver – Nola Findlay
  • 🥉 Bronze – Jill Morris

Podium for Male Grand Seniors

• 🥇 Gold – Garry Crick

• 🥈 Silver – Terry Bissell

• 🥉 Bronze – Roy Andrews

High Games:

• 🎯 279 – Pete Richardson (NZ), Terry Mustchin (NZ)

• 🎯 265 – Cheryl Walduck (QLD)

As the curtains fall on the 37th TBA50 National Masters, Tenpin Bowling Australia extends heartfelt gratitude to all its sponsors, partners, and contributors. Our deepest appreciation goes to all the bowlers who graced this championship and exhibited their prowess on the national stage. 🙏🎳🎉

Finalists

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