Europe retain the PartyCasino.com Weber Cup - 14/11/2010
TEAM EUROPE have retained the PartyCasino.com Weber Cup, holding off a come backing USA side to record a 17-13 victory and make the overall score 6-5 to the USA in the 11 year history of the competition.
It was England’s Paul Moor who fired home the winning balls after a succession of Europeans tried and failed to stem a spirited USA fight back.
In the end though, a very poor Saturday proved the Americans undoing as they were never able to catch up what was at worst a seven point deficit.
“It feels good; it’s what we’re here for,” said European captain Osku Palermaa.
“We see all these players in the team every week and we have to be friends to do this. We’re going to be celebrating and it won’t be by bowling!” he added.
“We made too many unforced errors as a team and against world class bowlers, it puts you behind the 8 ball,” admitted Tim Mack, captain of the European side.
“We came up short tonight, Paul played great and they are deserving champions. It shows you how important each point is and we didn’t take advantage early. When you give them a seven point lead, it’s awfully hard to catch up.”
The Europeans had a dream start to the final session as they recorded the joint highest score of the event in the Baker match to move into a 15-10 lead and put themselves within two of victory.
It was a bitter blow for the American side as they trailed in by a large 67 pin margin, but an open frame in the 7th frame put paid to any lingering hopes they may have had.
At this stage it was Europe’s to lose and they looked in a string position as Mika Koivuniemi looked to be running away from Chris Barnes, as he opened with five strikes. That gave him a 46 pin lead but that soon crumbled as an open frame in the sixth gave Barnes a window of opportunity.
The American worked on a strike and in the end, needing a strike and a 9 spare in final frame, he achieved just that to record an excellent come from behind win.
“I’ve been on the other side and seen people come from way back,” said Barnes.
“When I missed in the second frame, I thought a 300 was on the cards for Mika but I kept striking and got some lucky breaks. We needed a little bit of help and got a good break at the right time,” he added.
Paul Moor, though, put Europe within one point of Weber Cup glory as he overcame Pete Weber by 230-210. The animated American started out with four strikes in a row, buried the ball into the pocket in the fifth but left the 10 pin standing. Disaster struck though and he guttered the spare.
Moor carried on striking and despite faltering in the 9th, he hung on for the win to give countryman Dominic Barrett the opportunity to bring the trophy home.
It was not to be though for the well-supported Englishman as he was never at the races against a rampaging Tommy Jones who took the match by a 57 pin margin to reduce the deficit to four points.
Barrett unravelled in the 2nd and 5th frames as he left them open. Jones by contrast, recorded three 9 spares with the rest strikes to take the match 238 – 181.
Mika Koivuniemi was the next man with the chance to bowl the glory final leg but he ran into a top form Chris Barnes and despite bowling a great game himself, succumbed by a tight 11 pin margin.
Barnes looked back to his imperious best on the lane and fired home nine strikes to hold off the Finn.
“We dodged another bullet!” said Barnes.
“I knew I had to put in one of my best games and I did and the troops are a little more positive. As it’s gone on we’ve played the lane better and better and Tommy made the lane easier for me,” he added.
It was down to last year’s hero Paul Moor to bring the trophy home for the Europeans and he looked a picture of concentration as he beat Pete Weber 265 – 190.
Weber missed some critical spares and Moor stuck with it to record and 75 pin win and take Team Europe to a 17-13 victory.
Paul Moor was thrilled at bowling the winning ball once again, “Last year I was speechless and this year I’m still the same!
“To throw the winning shot again is a great honour because everyone here is a top quality bowler. I drew on the experience from last year and I tend to thrive in this atmosphere,” he said.
“I bowled really good Friday, Saturday and today but tonight I didn’t bowl good and my inability to make spares cost me and the team. I’m taking full responsibility,” said a disconsolate Pete Weber.
“Last night and this afternoon we made a run of it but hats off to Paul – he beat me two times out of three,” he added.