by Ben Hudd • October 12, 2022
Shane van Boening survived a scare against American youngster Joey Tate prior to overcoming Margarita Fefilova on day two of the US Open Pool Championship at Harrah’s Resort in Atlantic City.
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Tate, a 17-year-old from North Carolina, opened up a 5-1 lead against the five-time champion and fended off a comeback, before dramatically pocketing the purple five-ball ahead of the pink four-ball.
“It’s unfortunate what happened to Joey, especially as he was about to go on the hill. I did that once in my career and never done it again,” Van Boening said on social media following the contest.
“From my experience, I’ve seen this happen to other players on shooting the wrong ball. It’s not opponent or my responsibility to tell the shooter what ball to shoot at any time. It’s common and happens a lot in game of eight-ball, the players shooting the wrong group.
“Especially when we’re playing a major tournament, ranking points on the line, world rankings on the line, 50k on the line and the Barry Behrman trophy. In a pressure situation like today, I chose not to help my opponent.
“I’m sure Joey learned from this. Most likely 99 percent it will never happen to him again. He’s young, on a learning stage and many years to come. All the best to the kid and keep on shooting straight.”
Afterwards, Van Boening came through a second tough test of the afternoon, overcoming former women’s European champion Fefilova, with both boasting a 97 percent pot success rate in a high-quality match.
The reigning world champion will encounter fellow Mosconi Cup regular Tyler Styer for a place in the single elimination rounds, with Styer having complied three break and runs in his opener before coming from 5-1 down against American youngster Lukas Fracasso-Verner.
Elsewhere, former semi-finalist Jeffrey De Luna and World Championship quarter-finalist Dimitri Jungo were the initial big names to be sent packing, with Nguyen Phuc Long and Ke Wu recording shock victories.
2021 runner-up Aloysius Yapp successfully remained unbeaten with relatively comfortable wins over Americans Barry West Jr and Marc Vidal Claramunt.
Francisco Sanchez Ruiz and Niels Feijen both needed comebacks against Jere Virtaranta and Donny Mills respectively, as did Mosconi Cup hopeful Nicholas De Leon as he overturned a 7-3 deficit to somehow overcome Italy’s Francesco Candela.
Two-time champion Darren Appleton defeated the prodigiously-talented Riku Rompannen, with the 14-year-old from Finland bouncing back on the losers’ side with some excellent bank shots in his 8-0 win over Payne McBride.
2021 quarter-finalist Naoyuki Oi dropped a mere two racks on his way to reaching the winners’ qualification round, while Johann Chua arranged a meeting with Ko Pin-Yi with wins over Brandon Shuff and Nikos Ekonomopoulos.