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Stroke of Genius

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Video provided by Accu-Stats Video Productions

2012 Mosconi Cup

Player: Chris Melling
Event: 2012 Mosconi Cup
Location: London, England
Date: December 13, 2012

It‘s tough to imagine a tougher spot for a Mosconi Cup rookie than the one faced by American Brandon Shuff at the 2012 event. Team USA had dropped four of the last five transatlantic competitions; they were in the notoriously hostile York Hall in London, packed with well-served Team Europe supporters; and Shuff was facing a red-hot Chris Melling on the hill looking to get his team a point from victory.

Forced to play safe, Shuff tucked the cue ball behind the 8 ball and sent the 6 ball up-table, a foot and a half from the top left corner pocket.

But a bit of distance between the cue ball and the 8 provided a window of opportunity for Melling, undisputably one of the most creative shot-makers in the game. (If you have a second, search “Chris Melling unbelievable 8-ball runout” and you‘ll be treated to something special.) While the announcers anticipated Melling would play safe by kicking off the right long rail and the head rail to send the 6 ball back down-table, the Brit had other ideas.

With a healthy amount of inside English, Melling played the cue ball off the long rail and directly into the 6. The object ball dropped in the corner pocket, while the cue ball bounced off the short rail and toward the left center pocket. As it looked dead set on dropping in for the scratch, it grazed the first point and then hit the second fully, kicking the cue ball out a few inches for perfect shape on the 7.

Melling easily cleared this rack to get Team Europe on the hill, 10-9. The squad then went on to take the next set for an 11-9 Cup-winning performance. Things didn‘t get much better for the Yankees, who dropped the next five battles before finally taking back the Mosconi Cup in 2018.

(Video clip provided by Accu-Stats Video Productions.)

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