Appleton wins Costa Blanca Open

Darren Appleton (Photo courtesy of

With less than a week to go before the Mosconi Cup, four of the five representatives for Team Europe were in action at the Eurotour's Costa Blanca Open in Benidorm Spain. Darren Appleton, Karl Boyes, Ralf Souquet and Nick Van Den Berg were all competing in this event, leaving only Mika Immonen absent. And in the end, it was Appleton who completed an undefeated run to capture another event for his 2010 resume.

Appleton's campaign started with a bye, followed up by one sided wins over Steffen Wolff, Marko Vogel and Roman Hybler as he he didn't let an opponent win more than four games against him in the early stages.

As the tournament shifted to the single elimination stage, Appleton stayed hot with an 8-0 win over Jyri Haltu. Things got a lot tougher in the final sixteen as former Mosconi Cup participant Mark Gray took Appleton to hill-hill before Darren was able to get the win. Next up was an always tough Daryl Peach, who fell to Appleton 8-4. The semi-finals brought an 8-3 in over Sascha Tege and Appleton found himself in the finals.

Appleton's toughest task was in the finals as he faced off against Spain's Francisco Diaz Pizarro. Pizarro had the home crowd roaring their approval after every game ball the Spaniard pocketed, and they were loving a 5-4 Pizarro lead midway through the match. It was that moment that Appleton chose to shift his game to a higher gear as he won four of the next five games for the 8-6 win.

Appleton commented after the event that he was happy to finish the year off in style and can't wait for Mosconi Cup next week.