Barrett drives Europe into two point lead - 12/11/2010
TEAM EUROPE completed a good opening day at the 2010 PartyCasino.com Weber Cup as they won four of the six games to take a 4-2 point lead into day two.
Dominic Barrett was the main man for Europe as he completed back to back singles games to push his side into the lead. Neither side really got to grips with the lane, until Barrett looked on for a 300 game in the final match but faltered after ten strikes.
The evening opened with the traditional Baker format which starts the Weber Cup, and it was the lowest aggregate Baker score in the events history as both sides struggled to get in the groove in what is normally a stop/start game.
Chris Barnes bowled a gutter ball and only Jones and Palermaa managed to hit the pocket. It was close though and it came down to the tenth frame as Mika Koivuniemi did the necessary to secure the opening point.
Tommy Jones, who has a superb Weber Cup singles record with 15 from 18 matches in his four previous outings, added to that tally with a 222-205 win over European captain Osku Palermaa.
Jones seems to have Palermaa’s number and a pair of open frames from the Finn in the second and third put him immediately on the back foot. Jones maintained a comfortable cushion throughout the match and only an open frame in tenth kept the winning margin at 17 pins.
“We didn’t get off to a good start but that sort of thing won’t happen again, at least not on my team,” said Jones.
Paul Moor, the nearest Barnsley gets to a local boy, was making his sixth Weber Cup appearance and he dug deep to come from behind to beat a floundering Chris Barnes.
The tall American had a bit of a stinker in the Baker match but looked to be making amends for that as he held a 15 pin lead at the half way stage. An open frame in the next though, let Paul Moor back into it and he grew in confidence as he overtook the American in the closing strait to secure the win by 226 – 201.
That 2-1 soon went to 2-2 as jumping Pete Weber put on his best display yet in the tournament named after his father to beat Mika Koivuniemi 234-188.
The 48 year-old delivered a run of four strikes in the middle part of the match which gave him the foundation to take the match.
“I bowled a really good game for a change! In past years I’ve not been too good but I’m happy with the way I played,” said Weber.
“The looser I get, the more animated I become and the fans want to see some emotion,” he added.
To emphasise the nip and tuck nature of the opening evening at the PartyCasino.com Weber Cup, Europe regained the lead as Dom Barrett overcame an out of sorts Tim Mack by a 32 pin margin.
Open frames from Mack in the 3rd, 5th and 8th frames were his undoing and although Barrett made a hash of the 5th frame, his strike rate was sufficient to carry him to a comfortable 202-170 win.
The final match of the evening saw the novel move of allowing the opposing captains to pick the other team’s player – presumably their weakest link. Palermaa opted for a lack-lustre Chris Barnes, while Tim Mack plumped for Dom Barrett.
Barrett seemed an odd choice given that he was warmed up from the previous game and looked in some sort of form. Ten strikes later that seemed an even odder choice as Barrett recorded the best score of the day as he hammered Barnes 272-204 to give Europe a nice 4-2 lead going into the second day.
“It was close (the 300 game). We’ve got good players in the team and I felt very comfortable on the lane. I’ve got family, friends and great supporters so in the end it wasn’t a great pick for them,” said Barrett.
Featuring a potential total of 33 matches over the weekend, the first team to reach 17 points will lift the coveted trophy. Starting in 2000, the USA has won six Weber Cups and the Europeans four, although the Europeans are defending champions following a 17-11 win last year.