BREWER, Maine — Two teams dominated match play Wednesday at the Candlepin Bowling World Team Championship.
The top seed in the Holiday Inn division still belongs to USA East of Maine, taking 22 of the possible 24 points and leading second-place Campbellton Lions of New Brunswick by 10 points.
USA East was led by Shawn Morrison of Bucksport, who raised his average string to 131 by rolling series totals of 392, 392 and 407. Chris Sargent of Haverhill, Mass., chipped in with a 169 game and 416 series, while Nate Nealey of Gorham was a key to the team with a steady 128 average.
Massachusetts’ 20th Century Lanes took half of its match points, leaving the team in third in the division, while former champion MacLaughlin Truck & Trailer of Nova Scotia moved up from sixth to fourth by taking 14 points.
Fifth place is a logjam with three Maine teams, Local Flavah, Big 20 and Downtown Jewelry, all with 26 points.
In the Pepsi Division, Lucky Strike won all 24 points to climb from fifth place to first, just ahead of Extreme TNT (Mass.), who remained in the second slot only four points back. Lucky Strike was led by Jeff Surette of North Reading, Mass., who is averaging 130 pins per string, and Shawn McKinley of Hudson, N.H., who is steadily knocking down 127 pins per game.
Fairlanes A+ of Pelham, Nova Scotia, split their points and fell from the top spot to third. Kingswood, New Brunswick; Fenway Painters (Mass.), and Charlestown Bank (N.H.) fill in the next three positions.
One of the interesting aspects about this tournament is what is happening to Woodstock Bowlacade of New Brunswick. They have the highest pinfall as a team at 11,170, but are in seventh place in their division with a 24-24 record. The tournament is based on match play points and not total tournament pinfall.
As one bowler put it, “It’s not how much you bowl, it’s how many points you win against the team you are bowling at the time.”
After two more days of round-robin matches, the top five point earners from each division qualify for the playoff rounds. The first-place team from each division receives a bye into the semifinal round, thus bypassing two playoff rounds.
The playoffs begin Friday afternoon and finish Saturday afternoon with the winner taking home $10,000.
Peter Kidney of Woodstock Bowlacade leads the tournament with a 131.82 average. Brandon Marks, bowling with Local Flavah, had the high single string Wednesday with a 180, which also is the high score for the tournament thus far. Wednesday’s high three-string series of 439 was bowled by Freddie Toffermire of MacLaughlin Truck & Trailer.