Mosconi Cup Friday Night Recap: Team Europe Dominates Doubles and Singles, Team USA Finds Late Momentum

Heading into the Friday night action at the lively Alexandra Palace, the hosts and Mosconi Cup title holders were in a commanding position with a 7-1 lead. This marked an all-time record-equaling advantage after the second day of play.

The visitors needed a strong start in the opening tie of the night to have any chance of a comeback. The doubles encounter featured Jayson Shaw & David Alcaide against Skyler Woodward & Shane Wolford – the four cueists who didn’t play on Thursday.

However, it was Team Europe that took an early lead. Shaw’s skillful play, including a long bank on the 3-ball, helped them win the opening rack. They continued their success by clearing the table in the second rack, and with a miscue from Woodward in the third rack, Team Europe found themselves 3-0 ahead.

Although the Stars and Stripes claimed the next two racks, taking advantage of a missed 3-9 combo from Alcaide in rack five, momentum shifted again. The Europeans compiled their second break run of the meeting and cleared up in rack seven, securing the point after Cup rookie Wolford missed a tricky pot on the 2-ball.

Switching to the singles format for match ten, Shaw, in his first solo assignment of the week, faced Woodward in the arena. Shaw, who won all three of his singles matches in Las Vegas the previous year, impressed with a 3-9 combo in rack one and a break-clear in rack two to lead 3-0.

Woodward’s break in the third rack gave him an opportunity, but he missed a tough pot on the 1-ball, allowing Shaw to extend the lead to 3-0. Shaw, in his eighth consecutive Mosconi Cup campaign, showcased his skill by cross-banking a 3-ball and securing a fourth consecutive rack. Woodward avoided a singles whitewash with the second golden break of the event in rack five.

Buoyed by the home support, Shaw closed out the encounter in style with his second break and run, pushing Europe even further ahead at 9-1.

With Team USA pretty much at the point of no return, they ended the night on a positive note. In match 11, Woodward & Fedor Gorst combined to defeat Shaw and Francisco Sanchez Ruz. The Americans established 2-0 and 3-1 leads, the first time this week they held a two-rack advantage, before the defending champions leveled at 3-3.

Despite the effort, Team USA secured their second point of the campaign as Woodward hit his second golden break of the evening in rack seven. The pairing capitalized on an overcut 3-ball from World Champion Sanchez Ruiz in the eighth rack, securing a morale-boosting 5-3 victory.

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