England Win a World Cup as Eyes Turn to Mosconi
October 01, 2014 13:03
It was absolutely brilliant on Sunday evening as the England Team of Darren Appleton and Karl Boyes finally lifted the World Cup of Pool at the 9th time of asking and what made it even sweeter was that it was on home soil, just like back in 1966.
I actually went up to their first round match on Wednesday night and they looked very focused and determined against a strong Spanish side. They didn’t have that match all their own way though and showed some real quality pool to dig deep and get across the line.
Appleton, a man who has won pretty much everything in the game, and his partner Boyes, himself a former World 8-Ball champion then followed this up with a comfortable 7-1 victory over Greece to set-up a Quarter-Final with the USA.
Victory again against the US pairing of Strickland and van Boening was up next for the English with Karl turning to Facebook to show his ‘enthusiasm’ about having beaten Strickland again, the pair have some history going back to a Mosconi Cup. He simply stated “Beat the USA again! Finland up next.”
The two of them really played with an inordinate amount of belief throughout the tournament, and from watching Darren Appleton’s progress since 2007 when he switched to the US disciplines it is his focus, determination and down right hard work, along with some serious natural ability that has made him the multiple world champion that he is today, this attitude seemed to be rubbing off on Karl in Portsmouth.
The Business End
In the semi-finals the England team came up against former Champions Finland but got across the line 9-6 in the winner break format tournament, and so they stepped into the final against Holland, that featured world number 1 Niels Fiejen and the ever-impressive Nick van den Berg.
The Dutch duo had reached the final with a very comfortable 9-1 victory over Austria and were starting to look very good with the table conditions at the Mountbatten centre, they led twice during the match at 6-3 and 9-7 in the race-to-10 rack match but Englad managed to battle back to take it to a hill-hill match.
Appleton broke in what would be the final rack only to see the cue ball scratch giving the Dutch ball in hand and what was looking like the tournament victory. Nerves certainly played a major part as the runout looked on until Niels Feijen missed the 8-ball when trying to find better position for the final 9-ball.
This left England with two balls for victory and they were not going to need a written invitation as they duly put them away to lift the trophy and pick up the cheque for $60,000.
Boyes commented after the match saying, “I was so surprised that they missed that I jumped up with my cue but when I got to the table I saw it was a bit longer than I first thought.
“Darren tried to calm me down and I had a look. I don’t know how close it was or if it was a mile off but I got a nice roll at the end. I have lost a lot of big matches over the last few years when top players have played like God against me so it is nice to get a roll like that.
“We had a chance to go 2-0 up and try and get going but we didn’t get out at 1-0 and we were chasing after that. It was a real dogfight.”
Attention Turns to the Mosconi Cup
After that amazing victory fans of live pool will be keeping one eye open for the Mosconi Cup which returns to England in December. Appleton and Boyes will certainly be two of the favourites to be in the European team but the first official European pick will be decided after this weeks Dutch Open Eurotour event.
The final event of the European Tour season see’s Estonia’s Denis Grabe leading the way closely followed by Nick van den Berg who is only 2 points behind, Mark Gray, Nikos Ekonomopoulos and Niels Feijen round out the top 5.
The player that tops the rankings after Saturdays final will be the first player selected for the European Team at this years Mosconi Cup. If Grabe makes it he will not only be a Mosconi rookie but also the first Estonian to compete in this prestigious tournament.
You can follow the results here.
To read about the full selection criteria for the 2014 Mosconi Cup click here.