USA retain Weber Cup after stunning fightback



    Barnsley Metrodome in Barnsley, Yorkshire, England (Oct. 19-21, 2007)

     Team USA have retained their Weber Cup title after a fabulous final evening comeback at the Barnsley Metrodome on Sunday night.

    Tommy Jones was the man who claimed the winning point to cap a marvelous tournament for himself which included a maximum 300 game on the opening night of the competition.

    From left, front row: Doug Kent, Tim Mack, Bill Hoffman
    Back row: Tommy Jones, Chris Barnes
    Click on the image to enlarge it.

    With Chris Barnes putting Team USA within a point of victory earlier, the stage was set for Jones to complete a comeback that saw his team trail 14-10 at one stage.

    Osku Palermaa was the man charged with keeping European hopes alive but his wobbly start of three 9 spares was always going to keep him on the back foot.

    Jones also spared but delivered enough strikes to keep him in front before Palermaa had a bad open frame in the seventh to effectively crush European hopes.

    Afterwards, Jones was quick to praise the other four players in the winning team.

    "I could not get there without my team-mates, we've had a great time."

    America captain Tim Mack believed his side had shown great character to come back from a seemingly-losing position.

    "When you are staring at a four-point deficit sometimes you are stuffed, but we stuck to it. I just want to say Barry Hearn and Matchroom Sport - you are the best, we couldn't do it without you.

    "Hats off to Tomas and the entire European team, and also to the crowd - they were fantastic."

    European captain Tomas Leandersson was full of praise for the successful team, but vowed to win the cup in 2008.

    He said: "That's the way it is sometimes. The players from the USA showed how good they are. They threw so many strikes and we couldn't match up.

    "They are really good at this - it's their living. We tried and did our best and we were unlucky with the Baker match and that proved to be the turning point.

    "All we can do is say 'congratulations' and all we can do is say we will try and win next year.

    "I would like to thank the crowd, as always it was great fun. I hope everyone at home enjoyed the show."

    Texas-based sharpshooter Chris Barnes got his side off to the best possible start as he posted another big score in singles play to reduce the American deficit to three points at the 2007 Weber Cup at the Barnsley Metrodome.

    Barnes who scored a 290 in beating Paul Moor on Saturday and a 268 in losing to Tore Torgersen earlier today, fired a 279 game to beat Finland’s Mika Koivuniemi by 62 pins.

    A couple of early spares from the big Finn saw that he was always up against in whilst Barnes struck all the way with the exception of a 9 spare in the fifth frame.

    With a potential for eight singles matches interrupted by a Baker game, it was just the start that American captain Tim Mack was looking for.

    Barnes said: "Mika has been the best player in this tournament and the best player in the world in the last few weeks.

    "They were trying to bury us in a hole but the captain (Tim Mack) threw me out there and was hoping for the best.

    "Mika and I are friends and great competitors. We have had some great matches, it wasn't Mika's best performance but I was glad of a good one of mine."

    There was more of the same in the second singles match of the evening as Tommy Jones continued his hot streak with a comfortable 27 pin victory over two-hander Osku Palermaa of Finland.

    Jones was consistent throughout on what was a changing lane but Palermaa only managed to flatten five pins in the fifth frame and his spare attempt only managed to knock down two pins. The resulting open frame was to prove the European’s downfall.

    Palermaa gathered himself to register some strikes but Jones was always in control as he ran out a good winner to leave the USA trailing 14-12.

    IN A LOW scoring nerve-jangler, England’s Paul Moor got the better of American captain Tim Mack, winning by just 11 pins in a game that went down to the tenth frame.

    Moor needed every bit of energy generated by a revved-up Barnsley crowd and they helped him fall over the line.

    Neither player was at their best but Mack left a critical open frame in the ninth that put paid to his hopes. Moor though, feeling the pressure made the crucial 9 spare in the tenth to take the match.

    Moor said: "It was another tense one, going down to the tenth. I felt pretty confident even though the US had got off to a good start this evening in the first two games.

    "We always knew what they were capable of and doing what they have done."

    Doug Kent finally showed the Metrodome crowd what he could do as he cast aside Europe’s top singles player Tore Torgersen to win by a big 69 pin margin.

    The 40 year-old from New York state was calm and focused from the off and he looked very composed as he started with strikes and kept them going.

    Seven in a row gave the big crowd hope of another maximum 300 but a 9 spare in the eighth stopped Kent’s run but by then he was well clear.

    Torgersen by contrast, lost concentration in the fourth as he missed the spare to leave an open frame. He couldn’t match Kent’s relentless scoring as the American charged to the line.

    Kent said: "I knew I had the match in hand but a perfect game never really crossed my mind. I was just going through my motions and trying to repeat my action again and again."

    Bill Hoffman, who had looked out of sorts throughout the 2007 Weber Cup, came good in the fifth game of the final session to beat Tomas Leandersson by 82 pins.

    The happy-go-lucky American from Ohio only had two blemishes on his scorecard – 9 spares in the third and ninth, but other than that it was assured striking throughout.

    Leandersson, needing a captain’s performance, could not rise to the occasion and open frames in the second and eighth compounded his misery. His final score of 176 was the lowest of the tournament but Hoffman probably wasn’t too concerned by that.

    His excellent showing got Team USA within a point of their rivals with the score at 15-14.

    The European side found out what Weber Cup pressure was all about as they threw away a big lead to lose the final Baker Cup match of the 2007 Weber Cup by a single pin.

    Defending a 20 pin advantage as they entered the seventh frame, the Europeans left it open and followed it with two 9 spares to allow the Americans a chance of catching them.

    Koivuniemi needed to strike out in the tenth but could only manage a 9 spare with his second attempt which left the gate open for Tommy Jones to steal the point for Team USA by the narrowest of margins.

    When a big performance was required, it was delivered as Chris Barnes put Team USA within one point of retaining the Weber Cup following a commanding performance at the Barnsley Metrodome.

    He beat Tore Torgersen by a 62 pin margin to put America on the hill as they overhauled a 14-10 deficit, winning six out of seven games in a marvelous spell of bowling under pressure.

    An open frame in the seventh was Barnes only error as the rest of his game was strikes only. Torgersen bowled too many spares and an open frame in the sixth didn’t help his cause.

    Barnes though, was superb as he set up Tommy Jones the opportunity to retain the cup for America.

    Weber Cup - Final Standings after 32 Matches

    USA 17 – 15 EUROPE
    Chris Barnes 279 – 217 Mika Koivuniemi
    Tommy Jones 244 – 217 Osku Palermaa
    Tim Mack 199 – 210 Paul Moor
    Doug Kent 275 – 206 Tore Torgersen
    Bill Hoffman 258 – 176 Tomas Leandersson
    USA 203 – 202 Europe
    Chris Barnes 264 – 202 Tore Torgersen
    Tommy Jones 235 – 196 Osku Palermaa

    Session Four

    Session Three

    Session Two

    Session One