elicata ends year on a high
Six-time National Champion David Delicata (see photo) this year's Autumn League 1 rather meekly, ranked a low third on a trail of promising but anticlimactic performances. After bravely holding his own but folding in the final direct encounter against eventual eleven-time National Champion Theresa Brousson, Delicata was lacklustre in MISO 11 before again finishing behind Brousson in Summer League 1. Autumn League 1 was thus his last chance to salvage what would otherwise be a very forgettable season.
At the end of a roller-coaster competition, Delicata's consistency throughout the tournament was rewarded by a squeaky clean record in the knock-out phase, where he saw off two former National Champions, Sammy Mangion in the semifinal and Charles Micallef in the final with straight 3-0 scorelines.
Theresa Brousson's early exit from the competition was compensated in no small measure by victory in Section B and in Autumn League 2, which enabled her to retain her position at the very top despite Delicata's rise up the National Players Ratings table.
Double participation in the Autumn Leagues paid off very handsomely for Sammy Mangion, who also registered victory in Group Beta in Autumn League 2 and a resultant 93-point gain that lifts him into Malta's top ten.
Mario Seychell came a close second behind Brousson in Section B, with his namesake, Mario Camilleri, finishing a more distant third. The converse happened in the top flight of Autumn League 2, where three-time National Champion Mario Saliba finished a distant runner-up to Brousson with Moira Fenech placing a close third. In the same league, Paul Mifsud and the highest ratings riser, Alfred Xuereb were a close second and third respectively behind Mangion, while Kevin Pirotta was the winner in Group Gamma.
Josephine Mayo could not quite repeat her recent one-day success over the longer distance of a league. But she did not emerge empty-handed from the competition thanks to victory in Section C of Autumn League 1, ahead of Albert Zammit.
(penned & published by Nicky Vella Laurenti, Promotions Operational Team)