America Starts with a Bang

America Starts with a Bang
The American billiards team clinched the first point of the 2007 Mosconi Cup. The opening match was a team event where all players from both sides were involved and USA were celebrating with a 6-4 win.
They had won the lag but Archer produced a poor shot as he scratched off the break. Europe could not capitalise as Souquet missed the 8-ball trying to roll it down the right rail and it was 1-0 in this race to six.
A second mistake from Archer was this time punished in the next. He tried to swerve the cue ball round the 9-ball to hit the blue two but got in wrong as Europe, with ball-in-hand, made it 1-1.
With the alternate break format, USA were soon back in the action and broke and ran out the third rack with every American making a successful shot for a 2-1 lead.
Matchroom Sport had brought in new rules for this tournament to encourage attacking play as three balls must either be potted or pass the headstring off the break. If that does not happen then the other side would regain possession of the table.
Reigning World Champion Daryl Peach was first to fall foul of this as he sunk the 1-ball but did not secure the other two balls past the headstring. It proved costly as USA moved two ahead.
However, in the next Shane Van Boening made exactly the same mistake and Souquet brought Europe to within one again.
Niels Feijen produced one of the best shots of the match when he jumped the 9-ball to not only connect with the 2-ball, but to pot it as well. But the same player later misjudged a safety before Corey Deuel completed a 5-9 combination as the scoreboard now showed 4-2.
But Europe reduced the deficit to one with the critical error being a missed red 3 from Van Boening. The eighth was the worst rack of the match as Europe were displaying some opening day nerves as Drago, Stepanov and Souquet all missed shots they would normally be expected to make and Rodney Morris took USA to the hill.
For the second time, Van Boening slipped up on the break as he scratched and Europe won their fourth rack.
There was controversy in the ninth as Souquet fouled as no ball hit any rail after contact. European non-playing captain Johan Ruijsink was not happy but television replays showed Michaela Tabb had made the right decision. Corey Deuel downed the final 9-ball as America made a winning start.


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