GLYNN Cookson, a champion almost 20 years earlier, reached the last four of the British Individual Senior Merit on Saturday.

The Winsford bowler, who had said beforehand he wasn’t sure if he could win bowls’ biggest prize again, was pipped to a place in the final by Andy Moss.

The Shropshire man edged a close encounter 21-17 at Llay Miners Welfare, near Wrexham.

“I’m disappointed,” reflected Cookson, who took the Cheshire Senior Merit title for a fifth time in June.

“When you get that close to the final, you want to make sure you’re there. But it wasn’t meant to be.

“It felt as if I was constantly playing catch-up [in the semi final], and I couldn’t find a mark on which I was comfortable or that put him under pressure.

“I hung on in there, and gave myself a chance at 17-across. Even then I didn’t seem in control.”

Cookson progressed to the last 16 with a minimum of fuss following comfortable victories against Ian Brown (21-10) – who won the Derbyshire Senior Merit – and John Davies (21-9).

That set up a showdown with Ashley Daykin, who won the All England Championship – as it is referred to by bowlers – in 2014.

The Wharton Cons star trailed until halfway, then assumed control and record a notable 21-17 success.

He was not troubled at all by Wayne Dews in the quarter finals, when a break of eight established an early lead.

The Yorkshireman never looked likely to recover, and crashed out after losing 21-6.

Cookson won two of the first four ends to lead Moss 3-2, although he was never in front again.

He rallied throughout, levelling at 13, 14 and 17 across, before his run ended in front of a bumper crowd in north Wales.

“I’m proud to have done myself justice,” said the 58-year-old.

“That’s what was important; to go there, enjoy it, and play well. I definitely achieved that.”

Winsford-based James Gurney, who plays for Comberbach in the Mid-Cheshire Bowling Association’s top flight, suffered a first-round exit after losing 21-14 to Yorkshireman Philip Holroyd.