Ehic, lunar & pyrotechnic

Scicluna & Pirotta are the Stars of Phase 1 of Autumn Scrabble Leagues 2019.

The sombre hues of the Auburn Autumn League took on a brighter tinge as Maria Scicluna (photo) and Kevin Pirotta (photo) outshone and eclipsed stronger opponents to book their place in Phase 2. 

Ranked bottom of her group, Scicluna broke the hierarchy as she won three games out of four off second and third seed respectively, Josephine Mayo and Albert Zammit, blocking either player’s progression among the top eight. Mayo made amends for her poor showing in this league by securing early qualification to the top group in the Burnt Orange Autumn League. Yet, the multiple former Division II National Champion had almost made it through in the Auburn Autumn League as she lost her second of two games against first group seed David Delicata, who topped the group undefeated, by a mere 3 points.

This narrowest of defeats allowed three-time National Champion Mario Saliba to clinch the last spot for entry to Phase 2, despite losing both games to third group seed Kevin Pirotta and top seed Theresa Brousson, who, like Delicata, cruised through the first phase. Pirotta showed more of his fine form by topping Group B in the Burnt Orange Autumn League almost unbeaten to book an early place among the top six in Phase 2. 

Returning to competitive action after a months-long absence, Mario Seychell provided another example of unrusted play to pip top group seed Moira Fenech to first place. In this tightest of groups, Mario Camilleri progressed to the following phase with the top eight as the first best third placed. 

(penned & published by Nicky Vella Laurenti, photos credit: John Chew)