Team USA defends Mosconi Cup

Jeremy Jones won the 2005 Mosconi Cup for Team USA by completing a final rack victory over 2003 World Champion Thorsten Hohmann.

Jones hadn't had the best week in Las Vegas, but held his nerve to defeat Hohmann and pot the winning 9-ball for the second time at the MGM Grand.

The European supporters erupted when Hohmann won the lag ? taking the tournament's lag score to 12-6 in their favour.

He didn't have a shot on the 1, but a snooker induced a foul from Jones and Hohmann cleared the table to take the lead.

Jones responded in kind but missed the 1-ball in the third after Hohmann left himself out of position from the break and couldn't continue his visit.

Hohmann attempted a cut but left it hanging, and Jones capitalised to turn the match on its head.

He then ran out again to take a two rack advantage, before Hohmann, clearly on edge, completed a clearance of his own to stay in contention.

Jones came up dry in the sixth, leaving a road map of a layout for Hohmann to draw level at 3-3.

Hohmann's break stroke was perfect in rack seven, but once again the rolls didn't go Europe's way and he was forced to push out, leaving Jones a half-chance on the 1, which he missed.

But the German scratched on his next visit, and Jones cleared to move to the hill, having to pull off an impressive recovery shot on the black 8 when he overran for position by around a metre.

The American's break wasn't kind in the penultimate rack, and he had to push out, before Hohmann put him back in.

Jones' shot was poor, and Hohmann cleared to force a deciding rack.

The break almost produced a golden, but instead came up dry and Jones snookered Hohmann, who left the 1 on despite escaping with a solid shot of his own.

But Jones redeemed himself for an average tournament performance by clearing to seal the 2005 Mosconi Cup for Team USA.

"It's a good habit to have to pot the last 9, Jones smiled. "Day after day we got better and as a team we got better ? I didn't play at my best, but I pulled it off at the end and it's great to win again."

"It's always great to win this event. It's been a long week and although nobody played especially well, everyone tried hard and showed heart. Sometimes you have to reach from the bottom and that's what my guys did, said a jubilant Archer.

"Europe showed heart but my team was awesome and looking at the guys you know you never have a shaky line up. Everyone has earned their place and we're all looking forward to next year," he added.

For Jeremy Jones, it was his second time potting the case ball, "It's a pretty good habit to have! I know I played better two years ago but as a team I'm happy we got win."

Team rookie Shawn Putnam was thrilled following his Mosconi Cup debut; "I made it my goal at the beginning of the year to make it on the team. That was a big honour in itself but winning was amazing!"

For Charlie Williams it was another enjoyable Mosconi Cup. "This is a real special deal. We all came together as a team and that is a great experience that you get a lot out of," he said.

"I play for the fans and I want to put on a good show. The wins and the losses come and go but when the fans cheer that makes it worthwhile and those experiences last forever. When I play in the Mosconi I really want to enjoy every moment," said Rodney Morris.

Finally, it was a tearful Earl Strickland; "I'm really shocked I got Most Valuable Player award and I would like to apologise for what I said about London - it's a nice town!

"The people here know me and they know that in the heat of battle I can come undone. Team Europe gave it their best and eventually they will find a way to penetrate us.

"I'm 44 now and I don't know how long I've got left but I played like I was 24 this week."

For the Europeans, Mika Immonen had nothing but praise for his team, "I feel empty and this was my first time as captain. They played better than us but I'm proud of the team. We really worked hard and I've got nothing but thanks for the support they gave me as a captain."