With the Europeans just needing three wins to seal victory in this year’s Weber Cup, pressure is high on the shoulders of team captain Dom Barrett. America’s Tommy Jones optimistically said that his team would win 13 matches today but it is anyone’s guess as to how soon the Europeans will get over the line.
Alternating singles and doubles matches over six games, the opener featured Martin (Lucky) Larsen against Tommy (Mr. 300) Jones. It was Jones’s turn to select the lane pattern and he opted for conditioning to 45-feet, the longest pattern so far.
While Larsen played the spares game, except for a couple of strikes, changing his bowling ball a couple of times, Jones stayed in the pocket to post the first win of the day and set foot on his road for 13 wins.
Europe 14, United States 5
The first doubles match of the session saw Stuart Williams accompany Martin Larsen to do battle against Tommy Jones and Wes Malott. The Americans reveled in the new lane pattern and opened the show with a string of five strikes before Jones spoiled the party by leaving his partner the 10-pin to convert. The Europeans were back on the spare trail and rapidly fell 30 pins behind at mid-game. A European double brought the deficit back to 20; then it was 10 in Europe’s favor as Williams struck and Jones had a spare. The Americans finished with 235 and Europe trailed 226.
Europe 14, United States 6.
Could the mini-comeback by the Americans continue? It was up to Osku Palermaa, he of the two-handed delivery brigade, to post Europe’s first point of the day against Wes Malott in the second singles match. Malott, of course, had the advantage of playing the previous doubles match alongside Jones, so knew the foibles of the 45-foot pattern.
Palermaa was soon 30 sticks back so it was looking like Europe being stuck on 14 points. But the fickle finger saw scores even out as Palerma found the strike pocket for a turkey. Then disaster struck in the 10th, as he left the 3-4-6-7, taking just three of those, so ending with just 197. Malott struck out for the win, 216-197. Europe was truly stuck on 14 points.
Europe 14, United States 7.
In game four, Europe’s Dom Barrett and Stuart Williams took center stage in a doubles battle with Tommy Jones and Parker Bohn III in a bid to post the home team’s first point. If Europe did not win the next three matches, then the schedule would run into this evening’s session.
With the lane reconditioned with the same 45-foot pattern as before, Bohn, the only left-hander on the roster, had his baptism of the tough pattern and only hit six with his first ball after Jones had struck. Jones failed to pick up the spare. With six frames done, Europe had a slender lead. Then they doubled, while Jones left the 4-9, which Bohn failed to convert. Then Williams left Barrett with the 8-10. The Americans entered the 10th with a two-in advantage. Bohn struck, while Jones left the 4-9. Williams has to strike and he did. Barrett got eight and Williams spared, snatching a one-pin victory for Europe, 180-179.
Europe 15, United States 8.
In the penultimate match of this session, Stuart Williams hoped for another European point as he faced up to Bill O’Neill. Europe could have won the Cup with wins in these final two matches. Hopes for Europe were high, but O’Neill managed to get his nose in front to make Williams play catch up, trailing by 15 pins after seven frames. He made up the deficit and emerged the victor over O’Neill, 186-170.
Europe 16, United States 8.
The final match of the session, the third doubles contest, put the onus on Martin Larsen and Osku Palermaa to defeat Wes Malott and Bill O’Neill for that vital 17th point, which secures the 2015 Weber Cup. Otherwise, the battle continues into the evening session of eight singles matches.
Five frames down, the Americans were ahead by just nine pins, but they forged ahead in the home straight to reclaim a point and force play into the evening session, posting 231 to Europe’s 192.
Europe 16, United States 9.
SESSION FOUR SCORES
Scores – session 4
Singles: Martin Larsen 201 Tommy Jones 235
Doubles: Stuart Williams/Martin Larsen 226 Wes Malott/Tommy Jones 235
Singles: Osku Palermaa 197 Wes Malott 216
Doubles: Stuart Williams/Dom Barrett 180 Tommy Jones/Wes Malott 179
Singles: Stuart Williams 186 Bill O’Neill 170
Doubles: Martin Larsen/Osku Palermaa 192 Wes Malott/Bill O’Neill 231