Pool: Europe take 6-4 lead in the Mosconi Cup
Last Updated: 03/12/14 10:35am
Defending champions Europe need just five points to retain their Mosconi Cup title after taking a 6-4 lead over the USA on Day 2 of the competition in Blackpool.
Day 2 results
Feijen & Gray 5-2 Bergman and Hall
Boyes 5-2 Deuel
Appleton & Ekonomopoulos 5-2 Schmidt & Van Boening
Feijen 5-3 Bergman
Appleton & Gray 4-5 Deuel & Van Boening
The USA started and finished Tuesday's session with wins but dropped key points in the middle evening's play as Europe asserted themselves with three wins.
Heading into the final match, the USA were trailing 6-3, but there was a moment of magic from Shane Van Boening when he executed a hugely difficult shot to perfection to set up a win for the visitors to keep their Mosconi Cup dream alive.
After the match, USA captain Mark Wilson said: "The last point is naturally very important. We ended on a high after struggling through a few matches. We feel good about our chances from here on in."
Team Europe captain Johan Ruijsink was disappointed that his side couldn’t convert a good session into more points, but said: "I am happy with the score but we have to take the last match on the chin. We had a very good chance to win it but as an overall score, 6-4 is not that bad. It is always a bit hard when you can see the winning line of the match but you stumble. But I am happy with 6-4 overall."
The Americans took the first point of Day 2 with a sizzling performance from Justin Hall and Justin Bergman. The pair looked confident as they snatched victory from Niels Feijen and Mark Gray of Team Europe and the revved-up crowd in the Blackpool's Tower Circus.
Hometown hero Karl Boyes had the crowd singing his name as he breezed past Corey Deuel 5-2 to restore the European’s lead in the second game of the night.
But Team Europe then took a two-point lead as John Schmidt and Shane Van Boening gave up a two rack lead to lose five straight games to Darren Appleton and Nick Ekonomopoulos. It continued Van Boening’s miserable run in the competition and took the score to 5-3 in favour of the Europeans.
The momentum continued in Europe’s favour as Niels Feijen took down Justin Bergman to put the Europeans three clear in what was the game of the night. That was before Van Boening, partnered by Corey Deuel, took advantage of a series of errors by Darren Appleton and Mark Gray, to grab the final game and point of the session.
It leaves the standings at 6-4 heading in to Day 3 of competition with Europe needing all five of the available points to secure an early win.
Watch Day 3 of the Mosconi Cup live on Sky Sports 1 from 7pm on Wednesday 3 December