20th September, 888.com World Cup of Pool 2013
Down to the last eight in London
Japan 7-6 USA
Holland 7-5 India
England A 7-5 Italy
WITH TWO days play left at the 888.com World Cup of Pool, the tournament is down to the last eight teams as Japan, Holland and England A all recorded second round wins at the York Hall in London.
With England B already through to the weekend’s quarter finals, the A team followed them in as they came from behind to beat the plucky Italian pairing of Bruno Muratore and Fabio Petroni.
The Italians enjoyed some good fortune and before long they were 4-1 to the good as the English team of Karl Boyes and Darren Appleton sank deeper into their chairs. England took the next, but the Italians though were in stroke and they took the next to move to 5-2 and put the English under extreme pressure.
A blistering break from Muratore left them with no reward as the 1 ball was covered by the 2 and they elected to push out. England put them back in and Petroni missed with a snatched attempt at the pot on the 1 ball.
Appleton and Boyes dished up and when Boyes split the pack and left a shot on the 1 ball in the next it was enough for them to run the table and get within one of the Italians at 4-5. After some exchanges in the next, Petroni jumped the cue ball off the table gifting ball in hand to the English who accepted gratefully.
It was the turning point in the game as England broke and ran the next to reach the hill at 6-5. Boyes played a super-tight safety in what was the final rack and although the Italians escaped well, Appleton was able to pocket the 1 ball and they were on their way to victory.
“Sometimes in pool it just doesn’t go your way at the start of the match. They had a couple of nice rolls but that is pool and you have to be patient and try and fight back,” said Boyes.
“It was unbelievable to win five racks the way the match went. In the first round it went our way but this was reversed and you have to sit and be patient. We have won World Championships, US Open, Mosconi Cups, so we know how to win from behind.”
Appleton added, “I don’t think anyone else in this tournament could have won that from 5-2 down. They were getting all the luck in the world but I said to Karl we haven’t had an opportunity.
“The way we played from 5-2 was unbelievable. We made some great finishes and played some great shots. It has been a great night’s pool for everybody. They didn’t do anything wrong from 5-2 but the roll of the ball turned and we had some opportunities.
“There was a hell of a lot of pressure and this is why I want to play with Karl because when pressure is on I know he will make the shot.”
Japan put paid to lingering USA hopes in the opening match of the evening in front of a packed crowd as Naoyuki Oi and Lo Li-wen crept over the line in a thrilling match that went right down to the wire.
The American pair of Johnny Archer and Shane Van Boening was the slight favourites at the outset but in this quick fire race, it’s more a test of nerve.
The Japanese lead throughout and at 6-4 found themselves breaking for the match. The Americans though, got to the table to reduce the deficit. There was a thrilling conclusion as Archer fluked the 9 ball into the centre pocket in the next as he kicked out of a snooker.
That tied the match up at 6-6 and gave the Americans the break. Archer dropped the 1 ball but they had no clear shot at the 2 so Van Boening played a safe but he showed a little too much of it and Oi cut it into the corner pocket with a bit of swerve.
There was more nerves as Lo nearly scratched pocketing the 4 ball leaving his partner a tough shot but they held their nerve and finished the rack off the give themselves a spot in the quarter-finals.
The second match of the evening saw the well-supported Indian team of Amar Kang and Raj Hundal face Holland – Nick Van den Berg and Niels Feijen. India came on in similar style to their first round match with a team of drummers as the crowd went wild.
Holland, though quietened them down fairly quickly as they moved into a swift 3-0 lead and they looked very comfortable at the table. India got to the table in the next but Hundal missed a simple 3 ball and the Dutch soon made it 4-0.
India gave the crowd something to cheer about in next when Feijen missed a long 3 ball down the rail and they dished up to get their first rack on the board. They made it 4-2 as they began to shed their nerves.
They shared the next two after India broke and ran the seventh and then the Dutch edged the next. A scratch from Holland got India back to the table with ball in hand and they cleared up to make it 4-5 to the Dutch.
A cracking 6/9 combo from Amar Kang made it 5-5 as the crowd started to come alive. Kang though was the villain in the next as he missed the 3 ball kicking out of a snooker and the Dutch dished up with ball in hand to reach the hill.
They made no mistakes in the final rack as they capitalised on a poor safety from Hundal let them back in and they ran out for a spot in quarter finals.
“We were up 4-0 but they kept coming back but we stuck with it,” said Feijen.
“The drums were pretty loud but they were super cool and great fun. They had some great support but that’s what the game needs and we enjoyed it,” he added.
The 2013 888.com World Cup of Pool runs from Tuesday September 17 to Sunday, September 22 at the famous York Hall in Bethnal Green, East London. The field features 32 teams from 31 countries in a single elimination format. The total prize fund is US$250,000 with $60,000 going to the eventual champions.
Play continues tomorrow with two quarter finals in the afternoon and two in the evening:
Finland v England B
Holland v Japan
Hungary v Philippines
Chinese Taipei v England A
For live streaming of the 888.com World Cup of Pool go to http://www.pool.livesport.tv/home
The 2013 World Cup of Pool runs from 17 – 22 September and takes place at the York Hall, London. For those wanting to watch the action in person, all tickets are available from www.seetickets.com (Search ‘World Cup of Pool’)
The 2013 World Cup of Pool is delighted to work with our valued suppliers – Official Table – Diamond; Official Cloth: Iwan Simonis; Official Balls: Super Aramith; Official Cue: Predator.
Luke Riches, Matchroom Sport: firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes: Matchroom Sport are one of the world’s leading producers of televised sport and are responsible for over 1,000 hours of original programming across a range of sports. Based in the UK and chaired by charismatic founder Barry Hearn, World Cup of Pool is one of a stable of pool events that include the World Pool Masters and the Mosconi Cup.