Team Europe turn the screw - 13/11/2010
THE EUROPEANS piled on the misery for Team USA as they won five out of six matches at the Saturday afternoon session to open up a six point lead in the 2010 PartyCasino.com Weber Cup.
The Americans now have it all to do, as they need to win 15 matches for overall victory compared to the Europeans eight.
Trailing by two points going into the second session, the USA got off to a poor start as Europe waltzed past them in the opening Baker match to increase their lead.
Despite getting off to a poor start with an open frame, five strikes compared to two spares and an open frame from their opponents, gave Europe a 32 pin lead after six frames.
They increased that down the stretch to run out 43 pin winners and put the USA under the cosh.
European captain Osku Palermaa had two jobs today; to select an effective running order and contribute a point in his sole doubles outing. The point, in partnership with Dominic Barrett, was forthcoming and with two wins from the first two matches, his running order looked spot on. Palermaa and Barrett opened with five strikes and that gave them a 39 pin lead which Barnes and Mack never recovered from.
Team USA looked like clawing a point back in the next but Peter Weber let it slip as Paul Moor ran in a 220-214 winner. The American led throughout and needed two strikes in the tenth to take the match.
He made the first but a cough in the crowd appeared to upset him and the result was that the four pin was left standing and the match went to Moor.
“It’s crucial – every point is crucial and pushes us to our ultimate target. I dodged a couple of bullets out there and it see-sawed in the end but I’ll take the point,” said Moor.
Weber, not surprisingly was not impressed. “I’m not real happy. I got a good break in the tenth and then got the cough and threw a bad shot. I know the distractions come and I’ll deal with it but I’m just not happy.”
It went from bad to worse for Team USA as they dropped the next game to fall 8-2 behind and giving themselves a mountain to climb. It was Moor and Koivuniemi who took the point and it kept up Moor’s 100% record in this year’s event.
Again, Team Europe started out stronger and Tommy Jones and Pete Weber didn’t have sufficient accuracy to overcome that.
Jones though, will be kicking himself following a disastrous final singles match of the session that saw his 29 pin lead at the half way stage dissipate into a 258-213 defeat at the hands of Mika Koivuniemi.
Jones started out with five strikes as a two open frames from the big Finn left him on the ropes. ‘The Moose’ then bowled ten consecutive strikes as Jones faltered and that gave the Europeans a massive seven point lead.
Finally, for the first time in eight matches, Team USA recorded a point and avoided a session white-wash. Tommy Jones and Chris Barnes knuckled down at last and lead from the off to secure the point from Barrett and Moor.
That left the overall score at an impossible 9-3 but at least it was better than 10 – 2.
“It feels a little different as we went such a long time without a point. And at last we finally bowled a good game!” said Barnes.
“It’s no fun losing but we’ve pretty much beat ourselves but if we can stop doing that we can get back in it,” added Jones.
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.