Team Europe have won their fourth consecutive Duelbits Mosconi Cup title after defeating Team USA 11-3 at the Alexandra Palace with one of the most dominant performances in the 30-year history of the transatlantic 9-ball pool extravaganza.
The 2023 Duelbits Mosconi Cup was broadcast live on Sky Sports in the UK and Ireland, DAZN in the USA, Spain and Brazil, Viaplay in the Baltics and Scandinavia, and networks worldwide.
Day Four Results:
Match 12: Joshua Filler 2-5 Shane Van Boening
Match 13: Filler & Albin Ouschan 5-3 Skyler Woodward & Tyler Styer
Match 14: David Alcaide 5-4 Shane Wolford
OVERALL RESULT: TEAM EUROPE 11-3 TEAM USA
Led by rookie captain Ralph Eckert, the hosts enjoyed total control across the four days in London, with the tone being set during the opening session when they completed a clean sweep of victories.
The Europeans remained ruthless in their pursuit of a 16th overall Mosconi Cup glory as they continued to extend their advantage throughout days two and three. Heading into the final day, the title holders were 9-2 up and required just two more points to lift the trophy again.
Before any genuine thoughts of overhauling the huge deficit, Team USA’s initial objective was to make the scoreline respectable, and the visitors embodied fighting spirit through Shane Van Boening in the opening match of the session as he came to the party with an impressive 5-2 win against Joshua Filler.
Van Boening – making a record-equaling 17th successive Mosconi Cup appearance – had lost all five of his previous singles matches against Filler in this competition, but the five-time US Open champion constructed two break clearances as he broke free from 2-2 to stop that unwanted sequence and give his country its third point of the week.
The Americans continued to rally in match 13 in a doubles tie featuring Skyler Woodward & Tyler Styer against Filler & Albin Ouschan.
After the Europeans break cleared in the opening rack and then doubled their profit, Woodward – who delivered several exquisite shots – and Styer strung together the next three racks to go ahead.
However, the home team reasserted their command, punishing a misjudged swerve from Styer in rack six to level before crafting another break and run to go 4-3 in front. And when Woodward went dry with his break in the eighth, the boys in blue made no mistake as they put their team on the hill.
In what would be the 30th anniversary’s final fixture, David Alcaide ousted Shane Wolford 5-4 in a compelling encounter where there was never more than a rack between the competitors.
The Cup’s only rookie player this year, Wolford was experiencing singles action in it for the first time, and he acclimatised well with a break and run in the opening rack, although reigning European Open champion Alcaide returned the compliment in the next.
Following an eventful few racks which saw the players tied at 3-3, Alcaide cleared from Wolford’s foul break in rack seven to move one away from glory, but the 24-year-old left-hander followed suit and pushed the match all the way as he dished from his opponent’s dry break in rack eight.
Wolford potted a ball off his break in the hill-hill rack but later missed the 5-ball when attempting to break and clear.
After Alcaide botched his safety shot, Wolford potted the 5 but landed tricky on the 6. The debutant went full-blooded for the pot – which he missed – and was fortunate to leave Alcaide snookered, although the Spaniard successfully navigated it and fluked a snooker back.
With a deft touch, Wolford produced a brilliant escape and forced a subsequent safety error from his rival.
Facing a long cut on the 6-ball, though, Wolford potted it but watched in anguish as the cueball went in-off in the opposite diagonal corner pocket.
Seventeen years on from losing the deciding match at the 2006 Mosconi Cup in Rotterdam, which saw defending champions USA draw the overall contest 12-12 and therefore retain the trophy, this time Alcaide made sure he wasn’t going to pass up the opportunity to sink the tournament-winning ball as he mopped up the 7, 8 and 9-ball to cue rapturous celebrations amongst the European team and its supporters.
Courtesy of his two singles wins earlier in the week and his doubles success alongside Ouschan on the final day, Filler won this year’s Cuetec Most Valuable Player Award. It is the second year in-a-row that the German has won the accolade, and his third time overall.
Speaking to Sky Sports about the victory and his MVP success, Filler said: “It’s been an amazing week; we played great all week and I think in the end obviously we deserved to win.”
“I got lucky I got sent out so many times; I got many more opportunities than the others, obviously, but I still played good and I’ve got a big team behind me which supported me all the way.”
The jubilant winning captain Eckert – who never experienced the Mosconi Cup as a player – said: “It’s such an incredible feeling, and I want to take the opportunity to thank the whole team – it is such an incredible team. Thank you to all the fans here. Thank you so much.”
Written by Michael Day