2014 Betway World Cup of Pool – England B through as US and Philippines make quarters
England B 7 – 6 India
Philippines 7 – 5 France
USA 7 – 5 Russia
ENGLAND B completed the list of round one victors at the 2014 Betway World Cup of Pool as they squeezed past India at the Mountbatten Centre, Portsmouth on Thursday evening. There were also second round wins for the Philippines and USA who both take their place in Saturday’s quarter-final draw.
In probably the most entertaining match of the tournament so far, the England B side of Chris Melling and Daryl Peach put paid to Indian hopes by the odd rack in 13 to give themselves a second round match-up against China.
The Indian duo of Raj Hundal and Amar Kang were making their fourth appearance in the event as a pair and both sides looked in good shape. It was England B though, who shot into a 2-0 lead as Kang missed on the 6 ball. The well-supported Indians calmed their nerves and got on level terms as a jump shot from Hundal on the 2 ball set up the third rack, and then a break and run made it 2-2.
The Indians broke and ran the next three racks to take them into a 5-2 lead as Hundal and Kang really found the hang of the table. An illegal break got the England team back to the table in the next and they made no mistakes to stop the rot.
They also took the next as Hundal had to force position on the 6 ball, and Kang’s missed jump shot left the table open for the English. They made it 4-5 and then levelled in what was a thrilling encounter.
Peach and Melling took the next two though to need just one final rack for the win but a superb clearance in the next from the India made it anyone’s with one rack to play. Hundal made a ball on the break but the requisite two balls failed to cross the headstring making it illegal and England returned to an inviting table. The last two balls were tricky as the cue ball ran out of position but they made no mistakes to take their place in the second round.
Commented a relieved Melling, “It was a little awkward at the end of the match as I wanted to make sure we had a chance to pot the 9 ball and Daryl made a great shot on the 9 to win it.
“Raj and Amar were unbelievable to be fair and there really didn’t deserve to be a loser in the match. You have to hope you get one chance and if you do get the chance take it, and we managed to do that and come out on the right side of things.”
Peach added, “I kept my head still, feet down and shoved the cue in a straight line. If I missed we would have lost so I focused on my technique and made sure it went in.”
Defending champions, the Philippines looked scrappy as they overcame a decent French team who started strong but ran out of steam as Dennis Orcollo and Lee Vann Corteza held it together as they recovered from 4-3 down to win 7-5.
The ending came via a superb trickshot from Corteza who made a table length two rail kicked combination to send the 9 ball spinning into the middle pocket. It was a disappointing ending for Stephan Cohen and Alex Montpelier who must have felt that they could upset the odds early on.
Orcollo: “We are pleased to survive that match because it was really tough. We missed some balls, myself and Lee Vann said we have to stay calm and we did that and we won. He said he was going to take the 4/9 shot, he asked what I thought and I said yes, go for it because I know he kicks well. I knew if he hit a perfect combination then the nine ball would go in.
“We have to improve; tomorrow we have a day off so we will spend some time on the practice table,” said Orcollo.
“We have struggled on the break, we didn’t make many balls on the break and we had two illegal breaks which in pool isn’t good.”
In the final match of the session, Shane Van Boening and Earl Strickland flew the Stars and Stripes into the quarter-finals at the expense of Russia. It wasn’t the best of American performances but they found a way and were delighted with the victory.
Ruslan Chinakhov and Konstantin Stepanov must have felt they had a great chance as they lead 3-1 and then 5-4 but the American pair dug in and a great Van Boening break set up a match winning run-out.
“Russia are a good team, they have some big guns over there,” said Strickland.
“We were fortunate that they scratched at a great time for us and Shane made a beautiful break in the last rack. We needed a good break at the end so we didn’t have to struggle.”
They can look forward to a quarter-final match on Saturday against England A and Greece.
Now in its ninth year, the Betway World Cup of Pool features 32 two-player teams from around the world battling it out for a $250,000 prize fund. The defending champions are the Philippines who will be among the favourites to claim a record-breaking fourth World Cup.
All tickets are priced at £5 (afternoons) and £10 evenings and are available from the venue or www.seetickets.com
Diamond Billiards are the Official Table of the 2014 World Cup of Pool; the Official Cloth is supplied by Iwan Simonis and the Official Balls are Super Aramith. Predator is the Official Cue of the event.
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, the World Cup of Pool is one of a stable of pool events that include the World Pool Masters and the Mosconi Cup.