USA Take Early Lead as Mosconi Cup Heats Up

Corey Deuel celebrates his win over Mika Immonen

USA 2 – 1 Europe

USA 5 – 6 Europe
Hatch/Morris 6 – 4 Souquet/Van den Berg

TEAM AMERICA took the early lead at the 2010 Mosconi Cup as Corey Deuel and earlier Dennis Hatch and Rodney Morris gave them two points after Europe had won the earlier team match.

It was solid start from Nick Varner's men but with only three of the four scheduled matches played, due to the length of the opening match, there is everything to play for.

It was an excellent win for Deuel over Mika Immonen as he had trailed 3-0 and with a big first day crowd getting increasingly exuberant, he did well to take the match 6-4.

Earlier, Europe got off to the perfect start as they inflicted a come-from-behind win over the Americans to draw first blood at the 2010 Mosconi Cup. It was the opening five man team match and America  looked favourites for the point with a 5-4 lead but with two balls left on the table, Dennis Hatch left Rodney Morris hooked behind the 9 ball and the Hawaiian failed to make contact. With ball in hand the Europeans levelled it.

Having lead 4-2 this was a great chance for Europe and it was Karl Boyes who made the critical shot after Souquet had left him with a tough one on the green six. He made it rail first to set Europe up for a 6-5 victory, with Mika Immonen downing the final 9.

"When they announced Team Europe I walked up the stairs and nearly fell over. But the atmosphere and to win a point like that is absolutely awesome,” said Boyes.

"There was definitely pressure on the final 9-ball and you don't want to take anything for granted. I felt like we came from nowhere as they had it all in their hands but then that one shot from Dennis Hatch put them in the dark,” added Immonen.

Hatch recovered from his gaffe in the second match as he and Morris looked the business as they overcame Nick Van Den Berg and an out-of-sorts Ralf Souquet to level the score at 1-1.

The American pair were clearly enjoying every minute of it as they moved into a convincing 5-0 lead. That lead began to evaporate as the European pair clawed back the racks assisted by a bit of luck. They reduced the deficit to 4-5 before a failed cross table bank by Van den Berg let the Americans in and they ran out for the win.

"It was great to win coming off a loss and you have to show a lot of heart. But as I've said we've got more heart and we're going to show it, “said Morris.

"I like the crowd and it's a different atmosphere to last year as they're not for us but against us. I can't be as emotional as I was in Las Vegas but I'm still not going to sink back into my chair. I'm still going to try to get my team riled up,” added Hatch.