Slovakia 0-9 Great Britain
Germany 9-7 Estonia
Great Britain will face Germany in the World Cup of Pool final after a faultless display by Darren Appleton and Karl Boyes against Slovakia was followed by a fighting comeback from 7-2 by Germany, who beat Estonia 9-7.
Late entrants Appleton and Boyes kept their remarkable dream alive as they kept Slovakian pair Jakub Koniar and Jaroslav Polach in their seats for almost the entire match, completing only the second semi-final whitewash in World Cup history with a 9-0 win.
Appleton made a tough long 9 the take the first rack and send a warning shot to the rest of the field; the 2014 winners were well and truly back. If that wasn’t warning enough, they shut Slovakia out of the match, taking three more ranks for a 4-0 lead. A safety battle in the fifth gave Slovakia a chance but Boyes slammed in a difficult 2 to end the exchange, and Great Britain cleared for a 5-0 lead.
It was an incredible performance, even more so given their late notice to enter the event. GB were near faultless; Appleton had a 6 ball that rattled before dropping in the sixth, but otherwise it was the centre of the pocket every time for the Brits.
They had to play safe after the break at 7-0 up and remarkable that brought Polach his first shot since winning the lag. He had to try a kicked safety but the 1 landed in the jaws of the bottom corner pocket and Boyes was able to do enough to make the 1 and keep the cue ball on the table.
That was Slovakia’s last visit. The result was the first World Cup semi-final whitewash since Finland’s win over Canada in 2007, and Polach could only admiringly describe Britain’s performance as ‘a destruction’.
“Pool is all about chances,” said Boyes. “I left Appleton a long 9 in the first, he knocked it in and it snowballed. We didn’t make any mistakes. They did that to Austria and have been on the receiving end now and the same could happen to us in the final, you never know.
“The big match was round two against Greece, they played okay but let us off the hook and then to do what we did to Holland, then we knew we could win the event. We have lots of experience in these events, so why not?”
Appleton added: “I felt a little bit better today than yesterfay, I am gaining more confidence and Karl is playing really well. Slovakia were probably numb because they weren’t in the game. We broke very well, ran a bunch of racks, and to get off to a great start was massive. It’s unbelievable that we are in the final.”
Great Britain will face Germany after a stunning comeback from Filler and Reintjes over Estonia’s Denis Grabe and Mark Magi.
Germany looked nervy at the table early on and Estonia were able to build a deserved 5-2 lead. Magi and Grabe played some fine stuff in the eighth, giving them both a four-rack lead but also confidence to move forward in the match.
Filler scratched on the 3 in the next rack and Estonia had 7 on the board and a five-rack advantage. However, from there the Germans’ comeback began. They took each of the next five racks to draw the match level at 7-7.
Germany didn’t have a shot in the 15th and Grabe played a great 2 to give his side a chance. They had to go safe on the four and Filler’s safety play was on point and Magi didn’t have luck on his side as the cue scratched to the bottom corner.
That took Germany to the hill, although Filler’s hand was stinging from the aggression of Reintjes’ high-five as the moved ahead.
However, there was still drama to be had. Reintjes under-hit position to the 7 and Filler opted to go safe. Grabe tied it onto the 8 and Reintjes left a tester up rail for Magi, and he missed it. Filler cut it in, and Germany joined Great Britain in the final.
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