New York City, NY– England’s Darren Appleton capped off an amazing week of pool action by finishing off strong to capture his first ever World 14.1 title ! Appleton had lost in the finals last year, but sweetly rectified that with a resounding victory over America’s #1 ranked Shane Van Boening. The Andy Cloth 74th World Tournament of 14.1 6 days of grueling pool stamina battles ended with spectacular performances by the world’s greatest professionals. Notably this year’s event was particularly tough in the field of champions as former World 14.1 winners Thorsten Hohmann, John Schmidt, and Stephan Cohen all failed to qualify the top 16 final bracket!
2014 安迪盃世界14.1錦標賽落下帷幕。來自英國的前世界9球冠軍Darren Appleton在決賽中擊敗美國頭號選手Shane Van Boening，彌補了去年決賽輸給Hohmann的遺憾。
Andy Cloth 世界14.1錦標賽於美國時間8月4日至9日在美國紐約進行，這已經是這項世界上最為古老的撞球賽事的第74屆。顯然這屆賽事可以說是有史以來最為艱難的一屆比賽，包括Thorsten Hohmann、John Schmidt以及Stephan Cohen在內的多位前冠軍得主都未能打進16強。
The first semi-finals pitted Great Britain against Russia. Evgeny Stalev took the lead early and looked as if his smooth, super offensive style would lead him into the finals. Stalev had played some stellar 14.1 throughout the event, and Appleton had had medicore performances including a dogfest the night before against Mike Dechaine (USA). Down by 70 points, Appleton turned up the juice and made a run. Though Stalev kept the lead for the first half of the match, Appleton took over and never looked back with an eventual 200-145 win.
The next semi-finals was a battle of the Americans. Max Eberle of Las Vegas and Shane Van Boening of South Dakota were fighting to see who would have the right to play for the USA in the championship finals. At first, experience seemed to play in favor of Shane as Max botched many chances early on and Van Boening stretched to a 100+ ball lead. When Eberle had a chance again, he was down 40 to 147. And then he came back to life. Starting with a very tough shot, he went on to run 121 balls and take the lead. To date, Eberle’s highest run in competition. SVB eventually got back to the table, but was visibly shaken a bit in his game as he faltered, but Eberle had also used up alot of energy and they both traded safeties for several innings. Needing only 22 balls to make his first major championship finals, Eberle got another key opportunity and was faced with a good break shot into the side pocket. Unfortunately, he made the ball and busted the rack but scratched. Van Boening took the gift and scraped by to a 200-178 win.
“I felt and looked like I was buried. Was so easy to just give up and say I had a good tournament. But seeing Jim Rempe at the 14.1 Hall of Fame Banquer really inspired me. In the video, Nick Varner was congratulating Rempe and said Jim never gave up till the last ball. That was in my head. So I fought back and made the biggest high run of my World 14.1 experiences and made it into a real match”, said Eberle after the semi-finals ended.
在首場半決賽中，Appleton以200:145擊敗俄羅斯選手Stalev，而在另外一場美國隊員之間的半決賽匯總，Max Eberle在只剩22分就可以在職業生涯首次打進世界14.1決賽的情況下遺憾地母球落袋，將美國頭號選手Shane Van Boening送入決賽。
在賽後，Eberle說道：“我感覺很糟糕。但是我要說我還是在比賽中表現不錯的。看到Jim Rempe加入14.1名人堂確實很鼓舞人心。在視頻中，Nick Varner也給Rempe送出了祝福，並告誡他要戰鬥到最後一顆球。我記住了這句話。所以我又回來了，打出了我在世界14.1錦標賽中的最高分數，奉獻了一場真正的比賽。”
Last year Appleton had made the error of over practicing before the final day matches, on top of a long 2 hour drive. This year he swore off practice and came into the finals fresh. In contrast, the war with Eberle may have drained Van Boening some as he missed his first chance to strike blood. We will never really know because, once again, Appleton put in a incredible performance. He Started off with a 69 ball run, and then finished with a 131 & out completing the entire championship match in 3 innings!
“Not much I could do there”, Van Boening said softly as he shrugged his shoulders. ” Darren played great and deserves it.”
“I really didn’t prepare as much this year for the tournament because been working on my new house and got my wedding this weekend. So I didn’t really expect to win at all. I really struggled in the early parts of the tournament including last night in the quarter-finals against Dechaine. But today I felt really good”, said Appleton after the finals. “This World 14.1 is one of my favorite tournaments. The win comes at a great time because all my family is coming into town and I can share this with them.”
As Darren Appleton’s name will be inscribed as the 74th World 14.1 winner, he requested (almost insisted) he be allowed to take home the World 14.1 Cup for the year to showcase in his private poolroom. After a Bronze, a Silver, setting the world record at 200 points, and shooting in 1450 balls this week en route to winning the Gold this year…Dragon Promotions decided he be the first player to earn the right.
CN by McLean
Photos courtesy Charles Eames