By: Markus Noé
Marc Wilson team captain for the American side, showed his confidence in the "Young Guns", putting them out first. Woodward has looked the sharpest out of the lot for the Americans and Justin Bergman who is a top talent and plays with a lot of heart came out and did what they needed to do in this match. They won 5-3 and tied the overall score 3-3 while the chant of "MVP" for Woodward came from the crowd.
Next up was a singles match between Mike Dechaine who has not been sharp thus far and Albin Ouschan. This was a very intense match as Ouschan would describe in the post match interview. Overall it was played at a high level but Dechaine was a little unfortunate and had too many breaks without making a ball. In the end Ouschan went on to win 5-3 and Europe regained the lead 4-3 overall.
It was the next match where things got weird for the Americans as Corey Deuel/Shane VanBoening were up against Darren Appleton/Karl Boyes. The story line thus far really has not been Europe's domination which has been the case in the past, it has been missed opportunities by the Americans. That being said in the very first rack Corey Deuel who has also been struggling in this event, missed a 9 ball that realistically any average player would have buried. It cannot be said enough how much pressure is on these players but that being said Deuel just looks a bit lost in these pressure packed situations.
He missed several more balls in the match and one 7 ball which he tried to cut so much he missed it and kicked it up table from behind. SVB did not play strong in this match either but that is the challenge in scotch doubles, to maintain your game when perhaps your teammate is not playing well. Deuel's final shot of this set really underlined the whole match for him as he finally pots a very difficult 7 ball then proceeds to scratch and leaves ball in hand with two balls left on the table. Europe won this match 5-2 but the score is deceiving because Darren Appleton who is usually a rock in these situations looked pedestrian today.
The rookie Sky Woodward was now in a tough position, with his team down 5-3 he really needed to come with it against Karl Boyes. As he has been doing the entire event Woodward came out strong winning the first rack and keeping a lead until 3-3. From there some incredible shot-making by Boyes and a few good rolls allowed him to win 5-3.
Now things were really getting desperate for the Americas being down 6-3 with one match left to play in the session. The general consensus was that the Americans needed to win this match otherwise their hopes in this race to 11 would be shattered. Shane VanBoening and Mike Dechaine who have been struggling were up against Darren Appleton and Nick van den Berg. Once again the Americans made errors early on and were down 2-0 but were able to tie the match at 2-2. It remained close for the rest of the match with the Europeans going up 4-3 however SVB and Dechaine were able to run out the rack to go 4-4.
In the final rack SVB was forced to play a very hard 2-9 carom with the cue ball being near the back rail and 2-9 from near center table. It was the only shot he had and it really was do or die for the match and the entire event. Finally SVB came through like we all know he can and buried this shot which I have dubbed "The shot that saved America." The crowd erupted with cheer when SVB made this shot and the entire team took a big sigh of relief. There is a video on our Facebook page which demonstrates the entire experience; I invite you all there to watch for yourself as I have never seen SVB or Dechaine celebrate like this. The Americans really need to get their best player going and this shot could have done exactly that.
As a Canadian I don't really have a stake in the outcome but being of German descendant I have cheered for Europe in the past. However with the domination that we have seen over the past several years as a pool fan I just want to see a competitive event. I will admit I do find myself rooting a bit more for the Americans but I have always favored the underdogs. Being the top professionals that they are I expect Deuel and Dechaine to put any bad memories of today behind them and for the Americans to come right at team Europe tomorrow. Play begins at 2:00 pm eastern, to watch the stream go to http://www.pool.livesport.tv/. Visit www.cuesportnation.com daily for a full recap of the day and if you would like to follow along while at work visit our Facebook page for updates of each match.