David Cornes has just become the first player from Crake Valley to represent England when playing in the World Over 50’s GC Championship in Bunbury, Perth, Western Australia.
The event, which is held every four years, attracted top players from Egypt, USA, New Zealand, Spain, Sweden, Norway, Canada, Switzerland and the host country.
Despite being 42nd seed out of 48 players David excelled overall. In his group of 6 players he managed 3 game wins out of 12. All wins were against the top 4 who qualified and continued with distinction – two players made the Championship Quarter finals, one won the shield and the other caused the shock of the tournament beating Stephen Mulliner in the last 32.
In the Plate, David won 5 out of 6 in his block to progress to the knockout. In the quarter final Steiner Olsen (Norway) produced some amazing play to take the first game 7-4. David responded with a 7-2 win. The final game went to play order with Steiner always ahead having played blue first. At 5-5 there was a 30 minute battle on hoop 11 but Steiner eventually won. David then ran 12 from 4 yards to set up the “golden hoop”. Steiner placed his first ball superbly but then jawsed it. David had a 9 foot angled jump shot on the difficult Quadway hoops and his ball hit the frame, span on top of Steiner’s black before coming back the wrong side of the hoop. David’s other ball was on the side boundary with no real chance of clearing but he gave it his best shot only to peel Steiner through.
David sums his tournament up ” A great experience under really tough conditions playing on another continent. Nearly a 50% win ratio overall against better players in their own back yard is pleasing. Even more rewarding is I am somewhere near back to my best and proud to be representing Crake Valley, the North West and England.”
David (left) with fellow England Representatives Rick Lilley (Phyllis Court), Stephen Custance-Baker (Taunton Deane), Mike Hills (Northampton), Steve Leonard (East Dorset) and Stephen Mulliner (Surbiton)
World Number 4 Ahmed El Mahdy (Egypt) beat New Zealand’s Jenny Clarke in the final. All scores are on WCF Over 50 GC World Championship – Croquet Scores