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Baldacchino, Balzan triumph in MGA Shield

Doreen Balzan (third left) and Patrick Baldacchino (third right) lift the MGA Shield trophy.

The sixteenth Malta Golf Association Shield, sponsored by Crosscraft, was played at the Royal Malta Golf Club.

As in previous years, the tournament was played in a medal stroke format for the first day and a Stableford for the second day with the Stableford points subtracted from the medal net scores to determine the overall placing.

Twenty women and 84 men registered to play in the competition.

At the end of the first day, Doreen Balzan led the women’s field with a net medal round of 65, five strokes ahead of Violeta Scott.

Joanne Cassar and Laya Cristina were tied in third place with a net 71. Geraldine Cranley stood one stroke further back on 72.

The three leading ladies all struggled in the second day of the competition, but Balzan’s 28 Stableford points combined with her good score on the first day allowed her to win the ladies category with a two-point advantage.

Cranley’s 33 Stableford points moved her into second place ahead of Cassar and Cristina. The higher handicap division was won by Erika Ripard.

In the men’s competition, 14 players registered scores of level net par after the first day.

Matthew Mangion led by a net 64, one shot ahead of Richard Crossley and Andrew Naudi.

Crossley and Naudi struggled on the second day and their respective scores of 33 and 31 saw them drop from the leading positions.

Mangion played to his handicap but his 36 points, normally sufficient, saw him skittle down to third place.

Panagiotis Baltzis whose net 69 had anchored him in 18th place after Day One, came in with a staggering 41 points to see him enjoy the lead in the clubhouse.

This until Patrick Baldacchino registered a similar 41 points to claim first place by a one-shot difference. The higher division was won by Peter Naudi.

Prizes were distributed by Benjamin Mangion (RMGC Captain), Eileen Borg (RMGC Lady Captain) and William Beck (MGA president) in the presence of Crosscraft representatives Robert Farrugia and Caroline Grech.

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