Appleton helps Europe hit jackpot in Vegas

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PONTEFRACT pool ace Darren ‘Dynamite’ Appleton helped Europe retain the Mosconi Cup in Las Vegas last weekend.

The televised four-day tournament - featuring two five-man teams representing Europe and the USA - was held at the MGM Grand Hotel.

Europe won 11-7 after taking a 4-1 lead on the opening day.

Appleton (pictured), making his third appearance in the tournament, played a key role. He maintained the excellent form he showed recently in retaining the United States 9-ball championship and winning the Challenge of Champions tournament and the inaugural Beassy 9-ball World Class Open.

It more than made up for the disappointment Appleton suffered on his Mosconi Cup debut in Las Vegas two years ago when he failed to register a point as Europe crashed to defeat.

On the opening day on Thursday, Appleton and Ralph Souquet (Germany) beat USA’s Shane Van Boening and Mike Dechaine 6-4 in a doubles match.

On the second day, Appleton and Chris Melling (England) were pipped 6-5 by Shawn Putnam and Rodney Morris in the doubles but Appleton won both his matches on Saturday as Europe increased their lead to a commanding 10-5.

Appleton partnered Niels Feijen (Netherlands) to a 6-3 victory over Putnam and Dechaine in the doubles before beating Putnam 6-2 in a singles match.

It was a repeat of Appleton’s recent win over the American in the United States 9-ball championship final.

On the final day on Sunday, Appleton lost 6-3 to Johnny Archer in a singles contest but Europe clinched victory next game when Feijen defeated Morris 6-3.

Feijen won the tournanent’s most valuable player award.

Appleton won the most valuable player award in last year’s tournament when Europe beat USA 11-8 at East London’s York Hall where the two rivals will meet again in 12 months’ time.