Shaky England Fall Over the Line at World Cup of Pool

Daryl Peach and Karl Boyes

FOLLOWING on from yesterday's action-packed day of pool at Robinsons Place, Manila, the 2010 World Cup of Pool reconvened at midday Wednesday and it was England and France who made their way through to the next round in a couple of low-calibre matches.

England looked on the brink of defeat as they finally laboured to victory, 8-7 over minnows Qatar. Sporting World Champions, Daryl Peach and Karl Boyes never looked comfortable at any stage as they struggled to settle and find a rhythm.

The Qatari pair of Bashar Hussain and Mohammad Bin Ali were making their fifth appearance in the event and showed considerable nerves. They stuck with the English pair, though, stealing racks off their opponent's mistakes.

There were plenty of errors throughout and the final rack was anyone's before a decent shot from Boyes set up the match winning clearance.

"No disrespect to them but that would've been my worst defeat ever,” said Boyes afterwards.

“You set yourself goals and one of my goals coming here is to not just win the tournament but to play and beat the Philippines (Efren Reyes and Francisco Bustamante) in the semi-finals.

"It looked bad but we still played some good shots. They played well but obviously we did get very lucky. Daryl's not been feeling 100 per cent and when you know your partner is struggling, it puts you under pressure as you have to put everything on a 50 pence piece. But Daryl has made a one in 20 jump shot and I fluked a 9-ball so we were a bit lucky,” he added.

Peach said, "No match is easy and you're playing on TV so there is pressure. People think we should not miss but we aren't machines and everyone has an off day. That was an off day. We got lucky but we're still in it and a lot of the other teams will be peeved that we're still in it.

"We were very below par, probably about 20 per cent of what we would be usually but we're over the moon to get through. I've been feeling under the weather but we've been here before, we know what to do and how to kick on from this. We didn't under-estimate them. We knew both players and we know they're good potters. At the end of the day it's a race to eight, winner break, scotch doubles so you never settle down and it's hard to get a rhythm."

In the other match of the morning session, France and Australia played out a shocking affair with France finally prevailing 8-5. Their pair of Francois Cottance and Stephan Cohen had a match they would care to forget but it was still too much for the Australian pair of James Delahunty and Rick Emery.

To recount the details of the match would be superfluous, but needless to say, the French will need to improve considerably if they are to progress.

With 32 teams representing 31 countries – home nation Philippines has two sides in the competition – the World Cup of Pool sees the gathering of some of the most decorated stars of the pool firmament. The event is taking place at Robinsons Place, in Ermita, Manila.

With a total purse of $250,000, the winning pair split $60,000 between them while first round losers are guaranteed $1,500 each. All the action will be carried live on Solar Sports in The Philippines and other broadcasters across the region.