A Look Back at the 2011 Mosconi Cup (Day 2)

MATCH SIX- Day two
Team USA would have to dig deep on day two, to get out of the end of day one deficit Europe 4 - USA 1.
(Reminder: The Mosconi Cup will be decided by who gets to 11 points first.)
The first match of the day was between Shane Van Boening & Johnny Archer (USA) vs. Niels Fiejen & Nick van den Berg (Europe). This match turned into a nip and tuck affair with Shane winning the lag to start, but comes up dry. Niels makes a great jump to kick start the run out, and we have Europe 1 - USA 0.
After a lengthy safety battle in game two, Johnny makes a great bank that starts the run out for Team USA. Score now Europe 1 - USA 1. Johnny breaks game three and Team USA run out. Score now Europe 1 - USA 2. The USA crowd who had little to shout about on day one, were now getting pretty feisty as the USA got ahead in this match.
The Euro boys break and run out game four, putting the match score at Europe 2 - USA 2. This is going to be a close one!!! Shane breaks game five and Johnny has to make an extremely hard 2 ball to keep the run going, and Team USA go ahead again to the jubilation of the home crowd. Score now Europe 2 - USA 3.
We are seeing some fantastic play from both teams, as Niels breaks and the Euro side tie the match at Europe 3 - USA 3. Team USA takes the next two games to the delight of the partisan crowd, putting the score at Europe 3 - USA 5. However, the Euro side put their foot down and took the next two games to put the match on the hill at Europe 5 - USA 5.
Its Johnny to break on what is a really important match to the USA team, and comes up with the goods big time making four balls on the break, (The 1, 2, 3 & 7) but Shane has to make an extremely tough cut on the 4 ball to keep the run out going. He makes it and they run out, with Shane making the 9 ball to win the match Europe 5 - USA 6. The crowd erupts and team USA claw back a game in their quest to level the match. Overall score now Europe 4 - USA 2.
The next match up was between Europe's most experienced player Ralf Souquet, (Europe) and the so called rookie Mike Dechane (USA). Well Mike looked far removed from his rookie status, and took down the Kaiser 6-1 with some stella play, and showing no sign of nerves and really rose to the occasion, against the fifteen time Mosconi Cup veteran. Mike came with the shots when he needed them and totally dominated this match. Score now Europe 4 - USA 3. The crowd is sensing a comeback in the air, and Charlie is grinning from ear to ear, and must be wondering what it was he said last night that brought about this turn-a-round.
This next match up was between Darren Appleton & Chris Melling (Europe) vs. Shawn Putnam & Rodney Morris (USA). All eyes were on the USA duo, with Rodney coming off two losses on day one, the 6-0 drubbing he got from Niels Feijen, and his lose to Darren Appleton in the opening singles match. Shawn also lost his two matches on day one, against the in stroke Niels Feijen in the opening singles match.
Well the USA did not pay heed to their first days performance, and certainly found a little giddy up in their step in this match and really did not give an inch in what would be a nip and tuck match from the get go. Chris broke game one and they run out the rack with confidence. Europe 1 - USA 0.
In game two Shawn makes three balls (1, 2 & 6), but Rodney has to play safe. Darren plays a great full table length safe, leaving Shawn a jump. Well Shawn being one of the best short stick players around, makes the pot, and they run out . Europe 1 - USA 1.
The match from this point goes back and forward to 4 - 4. In game 9 Chris breaks making the 1 and 2 ball, but scratches. Shawn plays a great safe, and they run out to the jubilation of the US fans. Europe 4 - USA 5.
Everyone watching especially the US fans is wondering how long this new found form can continue!!!
Well Shawn breaks what could be the winning game for them. He makes the 7, ball but scratches giving the Euro side the tenth game. Wow, we have a tied game, and both sets of fans are cheering their lungs out!!! Score now Europe 5 - USA 5.
Darren breaks this oh so important eleventh game, making two balls on the break (1 & 2), but the cue ball is stuck in the top right hand corner behind the 6 & 7 ball. We are about to witness the greatest shot played in the whole tournament by young Mr. Melling. Let me paint the picture. The 3 ball is on the opposite side of the table to the boxed in cue ball, and is about 16 inches off the top rail and about the same distance of the side rail. The young gun deliberates for quite a while pointing his magic stick in several directions.
From his pointing antics it looks like he is taking the only path out of Dodge, and coming out of his jail by the only angle possible, which was about 15 degrees of the top rail, with English he kicks off the opposite side rail and then caroming of the side of the 3 ball, and sending the cue ball back to where it had just come from. Not only did he pull off the most amazing of shots, but put the cue ball even further into jail.
This resulted in ball in hand to Darren who made the 3 ball, and got a little short on the 4 ball, which was only about 4 inches off the rail and just above the side pocket. This left Chris the option of a safe, or cutting the acute angled 4 ball down the rail to keep the run out going. Unfortunately he slightly over cut it, and left it close to the pocket for the run out and win at Europe 5 - USA 6. The overall score Europe 4 - USA 4.
It really is a shame that Chris's phenomenal shot was not rewarded by the Euro side winning that game. But that's pool for you!!!
It should be noted that the above match was not without incident. In the middle of the match Rodney shouted over to Chris Melling and asked if he could maybe get a nearby faction of the European fans to slacken up on their comments towards the US players while they were shooting. Chris would not answer him, but Darren got involved, and a slanging match ensued. Both players had forgotten that they were mic'd up. Unfortunately the whole conversation was being broadcast by Sky TV. The mics were not fitted to the players for the remaining matches to be played that day.
Later that evening as both teams were leaving the MGM Grand to go to dinner, Charlie got Rodney to go over and apologies to Darren. They hugged and shook hands and the matter was history at that point. Rodney is reputed to have told one of the fans to get back to his job at McDonalds. I understand Rodney is still looking for that guy so that he can apologise!!!!
What happened next in the final two matches of the day undid all the good work that the USA team had worked for up to that point on day two. They had managed to claw the score back to 4 - 4, winning three consecutive matches, only to lose both of the last two matches of the day.
Match nine was between Nick van den Berg (Europe) vs Johnny Archer (USA). This match turned into a lop sided affair with Johnny only managing to put one bead on the wire to lose 6 - 1. Overall score now Europe 5 - USA 4.
The final match tenth match of the day was between Chris Melling & Ralf Souquet (Europe) vs. Shane Van Boening & Rodney Morris (USA). Once again for what ever reason the USA team just could not get into the match and we saw an equally lop sided score at 6 - 2 to the European team.
This put the final score at the end of day two at was Europe 6 - USA 4. I guess 6 - 4 is better than the 4 - 1 they ended up with on day one. It was a good showing in light of the direction they were headed at the end of day one.
Now we will have to see if Charlie Williams can rally his troops two days in a row and get his team to win at least three games tomorrow (Saturday).
Two more installments to come!!!!