It’s England v USA for World Cup Glory
China and Philippines Beaten in Semis
USA 9 – 6 Philippines
Team USA delivered their best performance of the week as they beat a strong Philippines side consisting of Francisco Bustamante and Dennis Orcollo to book their second PartyPoker.net World Cup of Pool final in three years.
“That was the most solid performance we have made so far and we’re due for another great match,” said Morris.
“We’re getting in stroke and this is the final match so someone has to dethrone (reigning World Pool Champion) Daryl.
“It will be a great match as England have played solidly and are in good form. We’re loose, they’re loose so it will just be a case of making the better decisions and the better shots.
“Against the Philippines was the most difficult match we’ve had as historically Francisco has been a thorn in my side. He used to beat me up on the table and he remembers when I couldn’t play.
“Me and Shane are working well together. I would normally shoot more but my game has adapted to his and it’s good that I can adjust.
“On this format winning this would be right up there in my career, probably just under winning the Mosconi Cup. But it’s a world cup, a world title and no tournament that I’ve ever won had ‘world’ in it.
The Philippines steadied their nerves as they took the opener but the USA got back to the table in the second game. Van Boening and Morris completed a decent run out to level the score.
Van Boening crushed his break shot but nothing dropped and it left the 1 ball on for the Filipinos. They raced through the rack to regain the lead.
Orcollo made an illegal break whereby less than three balls were either potted or passed the headstring, so the US got back to the table but some flashy shot making from the Pinoy duo looked to taking them into a 3-1 lead. Orcollo though, missed a fairly easy 9 ball to gift the rack to the USA and tie the score at 2-2. It was to prove a critical point in the match
Morris missed the 2 ball in the next but it rolled safe. Orcollo came with his jump stick but could not get safe and the USA cleared to go into a 3-2 lead.
Morris played a delicate 1/2 combination but was forced to lay a snooker on the 3 ball in the next but Bustamante could see it. The shot was difficult and did not come off leaving an open table for the USA and they ran out to open up a two rack lead.
A great break from Morris set up a nice run out with the only the 4 and 7 balls stuck together but the Rocket broke them up nicely to record their fourth consecutive rack and give them an ominous 5-2 lead.
The Philippines tucked the US up in a snooker and although they escaped it left the table open and Bustamante and Orcollo got a confidence booster as they ran out to reduce the deficit.
Orcollo played a nervous positional shot, leaving a tough 6 ball for his partner. He missed it and a safety battled ensued which the USA always had the upper hand and Morris ended the deadlock with a great long pot on the 6 ball as the USA went into a 6-3 lead.
The Americans ran the next from the break to go to 7-3, just two racks away from a spot in the final. A dry break from Van Boening got the Philippines back to the table and they ran it out to get to 4-7.
A muffed safety from Van Boening in the next gave the Philippines a great chance and they cleared to close down the American lead. A disastrous scratch off the break by Bustamante gave ball in hand to the USA and they completed the run out to get to get to the hill at 8-5.
The Philippines took the next but an excellent run out from Van Boening and Morris sealed an excellent 9-6 victory and the American’s best performance of the week.
England 9 – 5 China
Enlgand, who had never advanced past the last 16 in two previous World Cup of Pool competitions, played their way into the final. They produced a near faultless performance in a 9-5 victory over Chinese duo of Li He-wen and Fu Jianbo, the defending champions.
Reigning World Pool Champion Peach said: “When we first came here we said that no matter what happened, if we missed silly balls, won or lost, then we won as a team and lost as team.
“No one would get blamed and it has worked for us, it was a little motto I learnt from the Mosconi Cup.
“China have already proved themselves by going eight matches without losing and they work well together as me and Mark do.
“It’s a good achievement to win but I would be lying if I said we didn’t expect to win.”
Former snooker professional Gray has been playing pool for four years and now faces the biggest match of his career against the USA in the final.
“That was by far our best performance in the tournament and probably the best performance from anyone as no one missed a ball,” said Gray. “We both set high standards as Daryl is the World Champion and I’m No.1 in Europe.
“We had watched a bit of China and they are very attacking players and go for their shots but had not been under any pressure. We knew if we put them under pressure we would win.
“Winning the competition would mean the world to me. I’m in my first world final and I’ve come from a snooker background where I had limited success.
“I’ve always been financed by my parents so I dedicate this to my mum and dad, Vicky and Tony.”
England won the lag but an illegal break gave China back the table. England got the better of a safety exchange and then ran out the rack from the 2-ball for an early lead.
That soon doubled as a good break from Mark Gray proved the catalyst for a run out and England had made the perfect start.
But Daryl Peach scratched in the third rack and China, with ball-in-hand, did the rest to get their first rack on the board. It became level soon after as Peach overhit an attempted safety shot and left the 1-ball on and every mistake was being punished in a high-class opening.
That continued in the next two racks as all errors were being made to pay. Gray overcooked a safety and China made it 3-2 but a Chinese mistake in the sixth led to England making it 3-3.
England restored their two rack advantage by claiming the next two for 3-5. Fu was unsuccessful with a jump shot on the 1-ball in the seventh before Fu failed to escape from a tight snooker laid by Gray in the eighth.
The match was swinging from one side to the other and China then claimed the next two for 5-5.
England seemed to have a game plan by putting pressure on to the Chinese by deliberately leaving a series of long but difficult pots on. The strategy was working as both Chinese players were then missing the pots with England now sitting in a good position.
The Europeans made it 6-5 before they out-fought the Chinese in the 12th. A deliberate foul from Gray was immediately followed by a careless mistake from Fu as no ball hit the rail as the Chinese seemed to be feeling the pressure.
In fact, both Chinese players were now struggling and a routine pot on the 1-ball in the next from Li went wrong and China sat down for the rest of the rack as England moved to the hill at 8-5. A 9/4 combination from Peach sealed the victory.