Liliane Vintens, Lol Ellis conclude 2014 ISBT season with victory in French Senior Open


    2014 ISBT #10

    2014ISBT10LilianeVintensLolEllis.jpgLiliane Vintens (left) of Belgium and England's Lol Ellis (right) walked a way the winners in the women's and men's division of the French Senior Open, which was held from September 24-28 at Planet Bowling in Lomme, France.

    The tenth and last stop on the 2014 International Seniors Bowling Tour was a return to France, this time to Planet Bowling in Lomme. There is always a strong French entry for this tournament, and this year it attracted an entry list of 70 men and 24 women.

    The format for the tournament was two blocks of six games qualifying, the lowest block could be replaced by a better re-entry score. For those not able to qualify through the main leaderboard, there were additional opportunities through Turbo games and a Desperado squad.

    Age bonus started at age 51 (1 pin per game), then increased a pin for every additional year of age with no limit. As with all ISBT events, there was a separate division for ladies.

    The tournament was played on the Kegel Sunset Strip pattern from the Challenge series, and it lived up to its name with the bowlers in the early squad being challenged to make high scores.

    Lomme has often had bowlers report inconsistent approaches in past years, and this was again to add to the difficulty of the competition.

    In the first squad, not one of the 23 bowlers managed to achieve an average of 200 or more, but in first place was Guy DeMillecamps, France, with 1265 including bonus. Top lady was Chantal Murat, France, with 1049.

    Scores improved a little in the next squad, with Frenchman Robert Vallons averaging 212 to finish with 1320. However, he was the only bowler that day to average over 200, the final squad again having low scratch scores, being led by Giorgio Desimio of Belgium with 1255.

    Farida Pascoal-Blom, Netherlands, showed that the ladies could achieve good scores, with her 1189. The last squad of the day again didn't produce a 200 average, and was won by Yves Hantson, France, with 1281.

    There were three more squads on Friday, which saw the arrival of many of the top players. Ron Oldfield from England failed to quite make the magic 200 average, but comfortably lead his squad with 1328.

    Top lady was Henny Jan Der Jadt, Netherlands, with 1096. The next squad saw English leaders in both sections. Ian Buckland had a fine 1371 to comfortably be top man, and Angie Brown managed to just break the 1200 barrier, with her 1201 block to win the second squad of the day.

    The last squad of the day was won by Ben Penninkhof, Netherlands, with 1263. Martina Beckel, Germany, led in the ladies section with 1110.

    The final day had three more squads, the first being won by Yvon Marchand, France, with 1321, just ahead of Lol Ellis. The top three in this squad all averaged over 200 scratch, Juha Lehtikangas from Finland taking third place, and now moving into the lead in the overall standings, just ahead of Ellis.

    Brown had her second squad win, to move into the lead in the overall qualification standings, ahead of Pascoal-Blom. With only six women going through from the standings, there were now a number of bowlers around the likely cut trying to ensure qualification.

    The top spots in both sections of the second squad of the day went to English bowlers. Ron Deacon was top with 1350, just ahead of Oldfield. Ruth Stander took top spot in the ladies section with 1141 to book her place in the finals.

    With the top eight men missing the early morning start on Sunday, several bowlers were trying to improve their positions or make the top 28 who would qualify for the finals.

    The final squad was won by Oldfield with 1309. Nespoli Domenico of Belgium took second place ahead of three English bowlers, Keith Hodge, Buckland and Deacon, all of which had now done enough to make the finals.

    The top three qualifiers for the finals were all English, led by Oldfield, with Buckland and Deacon close behind. The eighth place bowler was Desimio on 2528, all of whom would miss the early morning start on Finals day.

    Last player to make the finals from the qualification standings in 28th place was Santo Provenzi, Italy, on 2420. These 28 players would be joined by two Turbo qualifiers, and two from the Desperado Squad.

    2014ISBT10WomenFinalists.jpgIn the ladies section, Liliane Vintens took top spot in the squad with 1130, but this was not enough to secure a finals place. Brown was top qualifier with 2310, ahead of Pascoal-Blom and Danielle Guigon, France. Pictured left are the 8 finalists.

    Last qualifier in sixth place was Beckel on 2234. Nadine Robert, France, would join these six in the finals through the Turbo squad, which left room for one player from the Desperado Squad.

    The Desperado squad attracted a good entry of seven men and seven women, and was played with each player bowling only on a single lane. Two frames in, and it was realized the scoring system was set for bowling on alternate lanes, and there was a sizeable delay while the system was reset, and the frames already bowled manually re-entered.

    Scotsman Alan Keddie had started with a great double, and then had to wait around for the restart. This didn't affect his game, and he finished with a tremendous 246 scratch, 249 with bonus to qualify for the finals, together with Manfred Meier, Germany, also on 249.

    The ladies section was very close, with several bowlers starting well. Vintens finished first and posted 188, then had to wait to see if it would be enough. Maria Grazia Locatelli, Italy, needed a spare and 7 in the tenth frame to secure her place. Her first ball left a five pin, unfortunately she failed to convert the spare, so Liliane Vintens went through to the final.

    2014ISBT10MenFinalists_small.jpgMen players from 9 to 28, together with the four qualifiers from the Turbo and Desperado had an early start on Sunday morning in the finals. Scores for all rounds of the finals would restart from zero.

    Desperado qualifier Keddie suddenly found his form, and easily was top of the four game block with 910. Last person to qualify for the second final round in twelfth place was Marc Wildermeersch, Belgium, on 768.

    The second final round was over six games, again starting from scratch, and included the top eight from qualification as well as those from the previous round. The top eight would progress to the final, and Ron Deacon led the way with 1348, just ahead of Laja Djouad and Giogio Desimio. Lol Ellis scraped into the final on 1217, just three pins clear of the rest of the field. Pictured right are the 8 finalists.

    2014ISBT10Top3.jpgThe men's final was an eight person Round Robin, again with scores starting from scratch. The fight for the top was close throughout, but a win in the last game for Lol Ellis over Laja Djouad moved him from third into first position, to take a well deserved win, his second on this year's tour. Second place went to Jacques Navarro, with Laja Djouad finishing in third place.

    The women's final started closely, but by the third game Desperado qualifier Liliane Vintens had opened up a slight lead. She continued to bowl steadily through the remainder of her matches, and finished a comfortable winner to take her third title of the year.

    Farida Pascoal-Blom finished in second place with Ruth Stander in third place, who showed that even at the age of 80 she was able to compete with the others, thanks to the ISBT age bonus system.

    That concludes the ISBT tour for 2014. The 2015 calendar is now released on the website, and bowling restarts at Plaza Bowling in Reims for the Plaza Senior Open. The tournament runs from the 22nd to 25th January 2015. Full details are available at

    Courtesy of Tony Brown.


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    2014 French Senior Open - Men's Round Robin Finals (Final Standings)


    2014 French Senior Open - Women's Round Robin Finals (Final Standings)


    2014 French Senior Open - Men's Round Two

    The top 8 advance to the finals.


    2014 French Senior Open - Men's Round One

    The top 12 advance to the second round.


    2014 French Senior Open - Men's Qualifying

    The top 28 qualifiers plus two turbo qualifiers and the top two of the Desperado Squad, Alan Keddie and Manfred Meier, advance to the finals. The top eight qualifiers receive one bye.


    2014 French Senior Open - Women's Qualifying

    The top 6 qualifiers plus the top turbo qualifier, Nadine Robert, and the top player of the Desperado Squad, Liliane Vintens, advance to the finals.