|2009 Mens World Candlepin Champs, the 'A+' Fair Lanes Team|
The intense mens competition bracket of the Candlepin World Team Championships, this year hosted in Halifax, Nova Scotia, lived up to its reputation as one of the premiere bowling events on the continent as the Canadian home team from Halifax, "A+/Fairlanes", captured its 2nd world Candlepin title in the last 4 years. The men's competition is comprised of 24 teams, spanning from the northeastern states of the U.S. up to the provinces of Canada.
In securing their 2nd world title, the A+/Fairlanes team rebounded from a defeat in the first of a 3-game match, ousting the "Crazy Train" team from the Massachusetts/New Hampshire area. The New England team got off to a fast start, gaining victory from the Canadians with a 34-pin win. But the team from Nova Scotia regrouped for a 97-pin win in String 2. (A 'game' is referred to as a 'string' in Candlepin lingo.) The A+/Fairlanes unit continued with the hot hand to gain a 21-pin triumph in the finale, to claim a 1940-1856 total pinfall victory. Heading the cause for the Canadians was Matt McPhee, whose resounding 463 effort provided the lift the Fairlanes team needed. Rounding out the rest of the scores for the victors were Matt Harnett's 407, John Harrietha's 391, Nate Leblanc's 348, and Chris McGrady's 331.
The Candlepin Championships began on Tuesday, Nov. 10th and continued its qualifying rounds up to Friday, Nov. 13th. Playoffs started on Friday afternoon, with the top 5 teams in each of 2 divisions qualifying for what could be considered 'Part One' of the quarter-finals, based on the total won/lost records (round robin format) during the week's team match play. Claiming the top spot in each division is significant, as the top seed in each division gets a '2-round' BYE to the "Final Four", which was held later on Saturday, Nov. 14th. A total of 6 teams advance to the Saturday morning semi-finals. The 2 divisions were sponsored by Pelham Electric and Ramada Hotel.
In the Pelham Electric division, TOTAL CHAOS of New England claimed the all-important top seeding, while MACLAUGHLIN T&T of Halifax, Nova Scotia took top honors in the Ramada Hotel grouping.
Heading down the stretch run, the defending champions, MARIA'S SUB SHOP, made a statement for the tournament by posting the only 2000+ set in the event. MARIA'S shattered the 2000 mark with a whopping 2047 set on the heels of Bob Whitcomb's timely 448 series. (Readers of the first issue of the North American Bowling News may remember Bob Whitcomb as the Candlepinner who made a splash on the Duckpin Pro Tour back in August of 2009.) The huge team total gave the defending champs a valuable 8 points at a critical time to solidify their position in the impending playoff picture.
The ensuing playoff matches followed, highlighted by the KINGSWOOD team of Kingswood, New Brunswick coming back from 100 pins down to nose out MARIA'S SUB SHOP of Patriot, Ledger, and Quincy Massachusetts by a mere 6 pins, which including a climactic spare and 7 count at the end. The CRAZY TRAIN team of Massachusetts/New Hampshire won their first playoff comfortably over CAMBELTON LIONS BOWLING of New Brunswick. A+/FAIRLANES of Halifax defeated MONCTON FAIRLANES/MRS. DUNSTER of Moncton, New Brunswick, and LUCKY STRIKE of Massachusetts topped RICK'S PALLETS of Dartmouth, Nova Scotia.
Advancing to the Final Four were CRAZY TRAIN with a 9 pin win over KINGSWOOD, while A+/FAIRLANES won more convincingly over LUCKY STRIKE. With the Final Four matchups set and continuing, there was a bit of a role reversal from the prior playoff round, as A+/FAIRLANES eeked out an 8-pin win over MACLAUGHLIN T&T, while CRAZY TRAIN coasted to a win over TOTAL CHAOS. The top 2 seeds had been taken down after their BYEs, and the final was set, with the A+/FAIRLANES team ultimately crowned as champion for 2009, as mentioned earlier.
...NOT TO BE OVERSHADOWED
Complementing the men's action, the fairer sex held the finals of their 19th Annual Ladies Canadian Candlepin Championships on the weekend of November 14th and 15th. The grand event, which took place in Lower Sackville, Nova Scotia, saw the team known as THE OUTCASTS, from the Massachusetts/New Hampshire area come away with a most impressive victory. In similar fashion to the men's tourney, 17 ladies' teams from various locales of New England and Canada competed for the ultimate prize.
The OUTCASTS, including members, Sheryl Divoll, Marion Brown, Lynne Thomsen, Nance Vestal, Kristy Moore, and Brenda Lamagdeleine won in convincing style, sporting a match play record of 30-4 to reign victorious. Jockeying for position in a 4-way tie for 2nd place, with a 24-10 record, were the teams, TRI-CITY, WOBURN BOWLADROME, TANNER'S, and PARK PLACE 1.
In the 17 rounds of competition, the OUTCASTS dominated the overall action, pitching the high team string in 8 rounds, and tied for high team total in one other round. The eventual champs came through when the chips were down, winning 9 consecutive matches over the 2-day timeframe, including the defeat of the TRI-CITY team in a pivotal match on day 2.
On an individual scale for the tournament, Joanne Ruzzano was the average leader with a 123 for 16 strings bowled. High single efforts for the event were Sharon Tavernese (156), Joanne Ruzzano (156), Marion Brown (155), Cathy MacPhee (154), Glennis McKinley (154), and Meaghan Harnett (151).
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