Mosconi Cup: Europe wrap up victory over USA in Blackpool
Last Updated: 04/12/14 10:46pm
Europe won their fifth consecutive Mosconi Cup after beating USA in the first two matches on day four, with Darren Appleton and Nikos Ekonomopoulos putting the gloss on the previous three days.
The European team then paid tribute to coach Johan Ruijsink, who announced he would not go to another Mosconi Cup amid emotional scenes.
The Tower Circus in Blackpool was in a particularly raucous mood as Europe entered the evening with a 9-5 lead, requiring just two points to keep the cup, and the United States were unable to delay celebrations as they succumbed to two rapid defeats.
It's common knowledge - we build a team, we prepare and we are ready for the event. I really feel like we have top class players, we have world champions - not just one but a couple of them.
Appleton lived up to his ‘Dynamite’ billing with a swift mauling of Shane van Boening – a 5-2 victory settled any jitters amongst a crowd willing on a short night’s play.
Van Boening also stood up for the second match of the night but found Ekonomopoulos in equally devastating form.
The American’s luck was summed up by a disastrous sixth frame – he missed an easy pot for the No 6 ball then fluffed his lines with the No 9, giving Ekonomopoulos an easy pot to go 4-2 up.
The last frame seemed almost inevitable and Europe celebrated their win on top of the table, with Van Boening crestfallen in the background.
It was an apt way for Europe to respond to a thrilling win in Las Vegas in 2013.
The outgoing Ruijsink said: "It's common knowledge - we build a team, we prepare and we are ready for the event. I really feel like we have top class players, we have world champions - not just one but a couple of them.
"They are a great bunch of players, almost like a group of friends. We played marvellously all week long. We had a good opponent - they were much better than last year and came out fighting."
For the third time in four years Niels Feijen picked up the MVP award. He said: "I thought Nikos would win it, or Darren, because I didn't play on the last day.
"I think I played pretty consistently in the week. Like I say every year we win it as a team, we score points as a team and we lose points as a team."