Current points: USA 11 Europe 7
The interesting saga of the 13th Weber Cup continues with a further six matches, the two teams fighting for a total of 17 points to clinch the 2012 edition and so far neither with a huge advantage, the Americans currently in charge with a 7-5 total.
This evenings schedule calls for an opening Baker team match followed by five singles.
BAKER TEAM – USA line-up: Chris Barnes/Tommy Jones/Bill O’Neill/Mike Fagan
European line-up: Osku Palermaa/Mika Koivuniemi/Dominic Barrett/Stuart Williams
SINGLES: O’Neill vs Palermaa
SINGLES: Jones vs Palermaa
SINGLES: Fagan vs Koivuniemi
SINGLES: O’Neill vs Barrett
SINGLES: Barnes vs WilliaMS
Blessings galore from above as Europe win yet another Baker team. A surprise as American anchorman, perhaps the most reliable player if you really need a strike, only scored seven when he got up for the tenth frame, so handing the first match to the Europeans and bringing the score back to 7-6 but still advantage USA
“They changed the lane pattern for tomights matches,” commented Dominic Barrett, “so hopefully that is going to work for us.”
That changef pattern certainly did not workfor Osku Palermaa and he has signed up for two consecutive singles matchesthis evening. Bill O’Neill was the master for this match, taking much advantage of Palermaa’s two splits which he failed to convert and a missed single 7-pin. So USA back to a two point lead once again, 8-6, and Palermaa bats once again, this time against the formidable Tommy Jones.
What a close match this turned out to be. Tommy Jones just needed an 8-count with the final ball of the tenth frame after throwing two strikes and came up short with six, thereby losing the match by a single pin. Hence just one point difference in the standings now, a situation with which we have become very familiar.
Palermaa enjoyed throwing five strikes to post 235 and sat and watched Jones throw the needed double in the tenth, so was as surprised as the whole congregation as Jones just took six pins.
Now theweightis on the shoulders of Mika Koivuniemi to even up the points by defeating Mike Fagan, so completely spoiling Chris Barnes’ wish for a three point lead.
So Fagn keeps the honors for the USA and we are back to seeing USA with a rwo point lead. “It was great to beat Mika, he is one of the best bowlers in the world,” stated Fagan. Koivuniemi did have his chances when Fagan had two cosecutive open frames, one with a 2-4-10 split, the other a missed single 10-pin, a feature we have seen too many times from these international stars.
Now the penultimate match of this third session, Bill O’Neill taking on Dominic Barrett in yet another attempt to put the USA three points ahead. The signs in the stars show that this is not to be an easy task. “I am not thinking too far ahead,” says Barrett, “but there is a chance of finishing the night with level points.”
“I really wanted to bowl a 300 and bat Tommy JOnes’ 279,” said O’Neill. “I threw nine good shots so was disappointed with the tenth.” He might be disappointed but USA captainChris Barnes is on cloud nine as he really wanted a three point buffer over the Europeans and his tropps have brought him that reward.
Now Barnes can enjoy being the focus of this final match of the second session, taking on friend and foe Stuart Williams.
Now Chris Barnes is the happiest bunny in all of South Yorkshire. “They did a good job of setting up this lane for us,” he stated. “Out team discussed a few things and I did pretty good. We still have a lot of work as four points ahead is good buth there is still a long way to go.”
All credit to Stuat Williams as he really did try to catch up with the flyuing Barnes but a 7-10 split in the fifth frame brought his aspirations to a shuddering halt. Barnes was yet another American chasing Tommy Jones high game of 279 but had to be content with three pins less.
17 points is the target for both teamsand it now looks as though the Europeans will be looking for a bit of Medinah magic and make a comeback similar to the European golfers in the recent Ryder Cup. Place your bets, ladies and gentlemen.
Play resumes at 13:00 (BST) on Sunday with two scheduled sessions at 13:00 and 18:00.
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