The Weber Cup returns to Barnsley Metrodome as a new-look American side aims to turn the European tide.
The host nation has won each of the last four Weber Cups and will be looking to make it five in a row this September 8-10.
The Weber Cup is the annual transatlantic tenpin tussle which promises high drama as Europe’s best taken on their American counterparts.
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Can the USA match a Strong Europe?
There was once a time when even the strongest European supporter would need to concede that the USA were the strongest bowling continent. Back in the days when it was Team USA and not the Pro’s, America proved just how good the amatuer game was stateside and took a 3-0 lead in the first three years. That all changed though as Europe improved and fought back to win the next three. 2006 we saw the PBA players appear for the first time and surprise surprise the USA won the next three. From 2009 to 2012 both team won twice with the USA last winning in 2012. Europe for four years now have been unstoppable. No matter who the USA sent the result was the same.
This year we see two new USA players step into the fray and two returning stars. The truth be told, this is probably one of the youngest Team USA lineups for some time yet full of talent and experience. Sean Rash in as captain and with him the showman Kyle Troup, the uber talented Marshall Kent and the PBA World Champion EJ Tackett. Now that is a line up unseen EVER and one that could seriously worry the Europeans in Barnsley this year.
Europe with the ever dependable Dom Barrett as captain and with him probably the best four European bowlers the continent as produced. They think and play like brothers and will be looking to make history with five straight wins.
We cannot call it, can you?
Friday – USA mean business
AFTER LAST year’s hiding at the hands of Team Europe, the American side restored some pride as they took the opening session of the 2017 Just Eat Weber Cup at the Barnsley Metrodome. The new look team, captained by debutant Sean Rash, started out strong as they lead 2-0 and then 4-1 but the session ended 4-3 as Jesper Svensson, unbeaten in his debut last year, won his two singles matches to restore European fortunes.
American’s Marshall Kent and Kyle Troup had made their debuts last year but Rash and PBA World Champion EJ Tackett were new to the Weber Cup but they slotted in nicely as the Americans won the opening Baker match, accumulating a huge 289 pins.
Kyle Troup with his unique look, capitalised on a weak showing from Euro skipper Dom Barrett, winning by 46 pins to give the USA a two-point lead. Svensson though, dispatched EJ Tackett to pull one back before captain Rash beat Martin Larsen by just three pins.
A slick-looking Marshall Kent restored the two-point lead as he eased past Stu Williams before Svensson once again hammered the pins to record the joint best score of the day – 289 – as he beat Kyle Troup. The final match was ‘captain’s pick’ as each of the skippers chose the other side’s man and it ended up being Barrett vs Rash as they both opted for the other.
Barrett picked up the pace from his earlier match as he ran out a 40-pin winner over Rash to see the overall score finish at 4-3. The total pin fall reflected the closeness of the session as the USA had the slight upper hand at 1831-1817 with the averages at 262-260.
Commented defending skipper Dominic Barrett, “We will take 4-3 after that with the way they started. They struck the first 17 out of 20 shots and continued that for the next couple of matches. We had Jesper to come in and make it 2-1 but they kept striking after that. For us, it’s about finding our feet a little bit and getting our way into the event, even though we have had fast starts the last couple of years.
“I choose Sean for the final match, it was a little bit of lane play but it was because Kyle had just come off the lane so we didn’t want to pick him, Marshall bowled really well the game before Kyle so it wasn’t going to be him. Sean probably bowled better than EJ but EJ is Player of the Year.
“I have been through enough Weber Cups to have felt all the emotions session to session and this one doesn’t feel too bad. We are only down a point – it felt like it could have been a lot worse but Jesper stepped up and bowled great and we managed to get the point in the Captain’s Pick at the end. It could have been 6-1 or 5-2 and though I won’t say we are the happier of the two camps we are happy to keep it that close and tomorrow we get to pick the pattern.”
Rash was upbeat about his team’s success, despite the two late defeats; “It was really disappointing to lose those last two matches but they brought out their lucky charm, Jesper, who is bowling extremely well and then my match with Dom could have gone either way, but he bowled well.
“The momentum is still with us because we are ahead. I told our guys we will be bowling until late on Sunday night so it will be a battle back and forth but we got off to a good start and tomorrow will be more electric and more fun.
“The Europeans didn’t seem too nervous for the start but they were a little slow to start and we got our big hits early and took that lead, 4-1. But there is so much bowling to come.
“They get to pick the pattern tomorrow and I have a pretty good idea what they pick; the pattern they dominated on last year. But our guys our bowling extremely well with a lot of fire under us and we’re having a good time.”
Play continues tomorrow at 12.30 with three doubles and two singles matches.
Dom Barrett countered, “I feel like we aren’t firing on all cylinders yet but we aren’t far away, we a pretty close. In that session, we got through it. Jesper lost his first ever match which means that pressure of being undefeated is out of the way and he can go back to winning again. We have started to figure some stuff out in that session, we weren’t far away and in the next couple of sessions you’ll see a much better Europe.”
Play continues at 12.30 UK time with four singles and three doubles matches.
Europe 255 vs 289 USA
Dom Barrett 232 vs 278 Kyle Troup
Jesper Svensson 278 vs 247 EJ Tackett
Martin Larsen 264 vs 267 Sean Rash
Stu Williams 244 vs 268 Marshall Kent
Jesper Svensson 289 vs 267 Kyle Troup
Dom Barrett 255 vs Sean Rash 215
Dom Barrett 267 vs 221 EJ Tackett
Barrett/Svensson 243 vs 255 Tackett/Troup
Jesper Svensson 224 vs 277 Kyle Troup
Larsen/Williams 187 vs 255 Kent/Rash
Stu Williams 235 vs 219 Marshall Kent
Larsen/Svensson 244 vs 211 Tackett/Kent
Martin Larsen 212 vs 268 Marshall Kent
Europe 286 vs 267 USA
Stu Williams 246 vs 224 Kyle Troup
Jesper Svensson 235 vs 252 EJ Tackett
Dom Barrett 278 vs 224 Sean Rash
Martin Larsen 277 vs 256 Marshall Kent
Jesper Svensson 234 vs 223 EJ Tackett
Martin Larsen 235 vs 245 Sean Rash
Dom Barrett 221 vs 279 Kyle Troup
Williams/Barrett 278 vs 192 Troup/Kent
Stu Williams 236 vs 231 Marshall Kent
Barrett/Larsen 266 vs 232 Rash/Kent
Martin Larsen 192 vs 256 Sean Rash
Svensson/Williams 245 vs 218 Tackett/Troup
Jesper Svensson 245 vs 200 EJ Tackett
Dom Barrett 289 vs 225 Kyle Troup
Stu Williams 279 vs 253 Sean Rash
Jesper Svensson 256 vs 254 Marshall Kent
WEBER CUP – Watch Live
The Weber Cup will be broadcast live on Sky Sports in the UK and on networks around the world, details of which will be available here in due course.
Sky Sports UK & Ireland live broadcast details:
18:30 Sky Sports Action (Sky channel 407)
12:30 Sky Sports Mix (Sky channel 121), and Sky Sports Action Red Button
18:00 Sky Sports Arena (Sky channel 408)
12:30 Sky Sports Mix, and Sky Sports Action Red Button
18:00 Sky Sports Action moving to red button from 18:45
The following international networks will also be broadcasting Just Eat Weber Cup live:
Eleven Sports Network (USA)
DAZN (Germany, Austria & Switzerland)
Nova (Czech Republic & Slovakia)
Sport Klub (Poland)
The following international networks will show the Just Eat Weber Cup at a later date:
Viasat (DENMARK, NORWAY, SWEDEN, FINLAND, BULGARIA & BALTIC STATES)
Kwese (Sub Saharan Africa)
I-Cable (Hong Kong)
OSN (Middle East & North Africa)
Sky New Zealand
Fox Sports Australia
Viewers in countries not listed above will be able to watch Just Eat Weber Cup live at www.facebook.com/webercup