Friday 19:00 Session
The 2010 PartyCasino.com Weber Cup, the eleventh edition, gets underway with the Baker team event with the first three of the four players in each team playing two frames, the anchor three frames.
Europe's team order will be Osku Palermaa, Mika Koivuniemi, Dominic Barrett and Paul Moor. Chris Barnes will lead the American team with Tommy Jones, Tim Mack and Pete Weber.
This will be followed by five singles matches, the last of which will be decided by the team captains.
The tally for wins is 6-4 in favor of the Americans so the European quartet will be fighting hard to reduce that deficit this year.
The evening turned out to be as good as it could possibly get, erspecially for the supoorters of the European quartet.
With Europe winning the opening Baker match, which is not their usual performance in this unique format, the pendulum swung into the home teams territory.
Then the irrepressible tommy Jones brought the points level by shooting down Osku Palermaa.
Hopes of an American dominated evening were brought to nought in the third match when local hero Paul Moor defeated Chris Barnes, the bowling man of the moment, to bring the high game of the evening to 226 and the points 2-1 back in Europe's favor.
Then it was a surprising defeat for Mika Koivuniemi in the fourth of the evening's encounters, Pete Weber finding form previously lacking at the Barnsley Metrodome, striking home with a 234-188 wipeout. Points now 2-2.
Match five brought out two of the crowd's favorites, Tim Mack and Dominic Barrett. The Englishman started with a double to set a ten pin lead and kept the impetus through the match and bought the European point lead to 3-2.
The final encounter of anew kind was the two opposing captains picking an opponent, the first time that this unique feature had been used in the eleven year history of the Weber Cup. Tim Mack was the first to name his pick and that, most surprisingly was Dominic Barrett. Then another surprise as Osku Palermaa chose Chris Barnes.
Mack was in for a shock as Barrett started with the first eight strikes and looked solidly locked in for a perfect game, but that was denied by a stubborn 7-pin in the ninth frame. Whilst Barnes could only stand and stare, Barrett finished with 272 - 204.
Certainly the crowd of supporters, said to be the best-ever Friday night audience in the history of the event, got more than the expected pleasure and entertainment than expected and the level of excitement looks to continue through the weekend with two more sessions on Saturday and a further two on sunday, subject to no team reaching the required 17 points early.
Match 2 - Osku Palermaa v Tommy Jones
Match 3 - Paul Moor v Chris Barnes
Match 4 - Mika Koivuniemi v Pete Weber
Match 5 - Dominic Barrett v Tim Mack
Match 6 - CAPTAINS PICK: Dominc Barrett v Chris Barnes