JASON Cornes edged out Castle Private teammate Rob Winnington in a dramatic Guardian Cup final at Moulton RBL on Friday.
He trailed 20-14 before starting a break of five to close to within a single chalk, then lay game at the next end.
But Winnington’s precision under pressure forced a decider 20-across, which Cornes duly claimed to get his hands on the silver trophy for the first time since 2003.
“I thought my time had passed, that I wouldn’t win this competition again,” he said afterwards.
“The fact that I have makes this the most special win of the lot.”
It is Cornes’ fifth victory on finals night, close 30 years after the first back in 1986 when he was a member at Owley Wood.
For Winnington, a victor in 2006, there was the consolation of sending out Wharton Cons duo Thomas Vickers and Daniel Nixon to reach the last two.
He said: “I’m gutted to lose, especially as I played good bowls up until the final couple of ends.
“It’s not as though I can blame loose ones – Jason just found that extra bit of quality to make the difference.”
Cornes saw off Comberbach’s John Gurney in the quarter finals before a classic encounter with 10-time former champion Glynn Cookson (Wharton Cons) in the last four.
He squeezed through 21-17 after his rival had recovered from 12-2 to close to within two marks at 18-16.
Winnington was too good for Vickers, claiming the quarter finals’ biggest margin of victory at 21-12.
He traded ends with Nixon, who won the Roberts Bakery Cup last month, until 13-across before a decisive break took him to four chalks clear.
The Castle Private man progressed eventually by 21-15.
For a full report, plus further reaction and pictures, pick up Wednesday’s print edition.
At Moulton RBL
Friday, July 18
Thomas Vickers (Wharton Cons) 12 Rob Winnington (Castle Private) 21
Daniel Nixon (Wharton Cons) 21 Mark Cookson (Rudheath) 17
John Gurney (Comberbach) 15 Jason Cornes (Castle Private) 21
Glynn Cookson (Wharton Cons) 21 Chris Koral (Owley Wood) 15
Rob Winnington (Castle Private) 21 Daniel Nixon (Wharton Cons) 15
Jason Cornes (Castle Private) 21 Glynn Cookson (Wharton Cons) 17
Rob Winnington (Castle Private) 20 Jason Cornes (Castle Private) 21