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Oh Boyes! Bradford ace helps Europe storm to Mosconi Cup triumph
Bradford-born potter Karl Boyes scored one of the three points required to wrap up a landslide victory for Europe over the United States with a day to spare in the annual Mosconi Cup.
The European side had led 8-2 after two days in Las Vegas and the hosts needed to win at least three of the third day’s five matches to take the tournament into a final session.
But instead it was the defending champions who continued their domination to win 11-2, the second-biggest winning margin in the 20-year history of the event.
Darren Appleton and Ralf Souquet won the day’s opening doubles 6-3 against Earl Strickland and Dennis Hatch.
Then Boyes, the WPA eight-ball world champion and nine-ball World Series Speed champion, beat Strickland 6-4 in one of the three singles match-ups due to be played.
But the other two were not needed as Niels Feijen and Mika Immonen saw off Hatch and Rodney Morris 6-4 in the second doubles to spark wild celebrations among the European contingent.
It was Europe’s fourth win on the trot and their sixth in seven years and team captain Johan Ruijsink was thrilled with his fifth victory at the helm.
He said: “I am very proud of my team. They played like lions all week. They came out of the starting blocks really heavy on the Americans and I don’t think they recovered.”
Europe had led 5-0 after an opening-day whitewash and Feijen, who downed the winning ball, reflected on how the competition had swung away from the United States in the last few years.
“I was on the team when we lost 12-1 and when it went to 5-0 on day one, that was already a record.
“On day two it was 8-2 and could have been 9-1 or 10-0 and from there on it was like, ‘what is going on’?
“The first day we walked in and there was 650 people going nuts for the USA and we thought it would be intense.
“All of a sudden it was 5-0, 8-2, so on day three we said we just wanted to win the session again – that is all you can do.”
Boyes did well to keep his concentration on the way to victory against Strickland, who received a warning from referee Ken Schuman for his incessant complaining.
Feijen acknowledged the part played by Boyes, who was last in the European team for their 2010 victory at Bethnal Green.
The Dutchman said: “Karl played a great match against Earl and then we finished it off. It was unbelievable.
“I won the MVP but it is such a team thing this. I think Europe in the last few years have been so good at having a team spirit, sticking together, supporting each other – and that is all because of Johan.
“I want to thank him for all the effort he has put in over the years and I hope he will be back.”
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