With Europe leading 6-4 in the Mosconi Cup going in to day three it was the turn of of Karl Boyes and the undefeated Nikos Ekonomopoulos to take the American pairing of Justin Hall and John Schmidt.
USA won the lag with both teams taking their respective breaking games for a 1-1 score line. Rack three saw the Europeans profit from some poor shots by the USA team to win against the breakers. A great opening break in the next frame put Europe in pole position for the run-out but Boyes went in-off when taking a trip around the table after potting the 2-ball that gifted the American’s a simple run-out for a 2-2 score line.
A nightmare error strewn fifth rack was turned over to the Europeans after Schmidt went in-off after potting the 9-ball. Both teams suffered bad misses but it was the American’s final one was fatal and gave the Europeans a first rack against the breaker in the match for a 3-2 lead. The USA team got back level in the next to win against the European break.
A dry break by USA in rack seven turned the table over to Europe who gained the tactical advantage to force a foul out of the Americans; Europe proceeded to run-out with Ekonomopoulos making a tough cut on the 9-ball to leave the Europeans breaking for the match leading 4-3.
A thundering break by Boyes left his partner a tough shot on the 2-ball that he duly sunk and the pairing ran-out the rack for a 5-3 win and a 7-4 lead in the Mosconi Cup.
Nikos Ekonomopoulos and Justin Hall returned to play a singles match with the European full of confidence after his win. Ekonomopoulos won the lag and produced a great break to set up a run-out to take the first rack. Hall levelled the match with a no-fuss break and run-out.
Ekonomopoulos moved in to a 3-1 lead after running out his breaking rack and then profiting from an unlucky in-off by the Hall.
Hall hit back taking the next two racks to level the match once again at 3-3 and look set to make 4-3 until over-cutting the 5-ball down the rail but Ekonomopoulos was unable to run-out and he claimed the rack to leave him one away from the match. Hall claimed a 5-3 win with a great 4-9 combination after playing a push-out to gain the tactical upper-hand.
Next up in the second doubles match of the day were Karl Boyes again and Mark Grey taking on John Schmidt and Corey Deuel. Europe won the lag but lost the opening rack to the USA with the Europeans replying by taking the next against the American’s break for a 1-1 score-line.
The teams shared the next two racks to go 2-2 before the American’s nosed ahead in the next. Momentum swung back to the Europeans who won against the Americans break and then ran-out their breaking rack for a 4-3 lead and on the hill.
A tense final eighth rack was won by the European pairing for a 5-3 victory and a commanding 8-5 lead in the Mosconi Cup.
Neils Feijen was up next against Justin Bergman and as usual the European’s won the lag but it was Bergman who looked likely to take opener until playing a run-on shot with lots of top spin that followed the 7-ball straight in to the pocket. Feijen was left with ball-in-hand with two balls on for a simple clearance. Bergman was soon back on terms taking the following rack when gifted ball-in-hand to make a clearance.
Feijen claimed the next rack on his break and was gifted ball-in-hand again after a wayward break-shot by Bergman sent the cue-ball flying off the table for a 3-1 lead.
Bergman pulled it back to 3-2 only for Feijen to fluke the 9-ball in the corner pocket when missing carom on the nine in the opposite corner pocket to put Feijen on the hill at 4-2.
Feijen broke off in the very next rack and ran-out for a comfortable 5-2 win to conclude an early finish to the night with Europe leading 9-5 in the Mosconi Cup; only two match wins away from another European victory.
EUROPE 9-5 USA
Boyes & Ekonomopoulos 5-3 Schmidt & Hall
Nikos Ekonomopoulos 3-5 Justin Hall
Gray & Boyes 5-3 Deuel & Schmidt
Feijen 5-2 Bergman
Mark Selby, last years winner is 7/2 to do it again this year!
Ronnie O'Sullivan, runner-up last year, 5/1 to win this time!
Marco Fu, beaten semi-finalist last year, 20/1 to win!
Shaun Murphy, beaten semi-finalist last year, 22/1 to win!
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