Corey wins his 'David and Goliath' battle
PARK BEACH bowler Cory Daley has done what many in the game believe is near impossible in modern times.
An unknown from a country club has gone to the city and won the State singles final, knocking over a 'gunslinger' from the professional ranks.
It's almost the equivalent of winning tomorrow's WS Cox Plate with the kids' pet pony or going to Bathurst with a billycart and coming home King of the Mountain.
Daley moved into the finals at Cabramatta without fanfare but racked up two amazing comebacks along the way.
In one match he was down 21-9 and had no sooner rattled home to win that, he was then forced to fight his way out of a 23-12 deficit against Adam Lee.
“I think this was the point where I really dug in and said to myself 'it is too hard to qualify so I'm not giving in, I am going out fighting'... and then Lee cracked.
“Ninety minutes after the other semi concluded, I'd beaten him 31-25.”
It meant Daley was matched in a final showdown against the awesome talents of Aron Sheriff, the State's 'bowler of the year' from 2007, Australia's gun singles player and World Singles medallist.
In normal circumstances, the elite group to which Sheriff belongs would eat a country boy like Cory Daley for breakfast.
“Mate, I had nothing to lose and was clearly the underdog,” Daley said.
“But I took heart in the greens running quickly as this suited my drawing game and would hopefully neutralise his vast array of superb weighted shots.”
After scoring two ends apiece, Sherriff skipped ahead 8-2 and Daley began feeling for the first and last time, he was going to lose.
“At the same time I hadn't contemplated the possibility of winning but after closing the gap, we went shot for shot with some great conversion shots with our last bowls with the person having last bowl having a clear advantage,” he said.
Suddenly, Daley was in the lead 22-16 and began believing he could actually pull this off.
This time, Sherriff fought back to hit the front 26-25 but with Daley coolly sipping water between shots to keep hydrated, the crowd sensed an upset when the boy from the bush surged to 29-26, two shots from victory.
“Being the champion he is, Aron refused to submit and won the next two ends to level up 29-29 and with a bowl left each to play, I rocked the shot bowl with my last attempt and couldn't move it from the jack,” Daley remembered.
“Aron scored one and missed the winning shot by four inches but it took him to 30-29 and one from victory.”
For Sherriff, that four inch miss spelled disaster.
“He handed me the mat for last bowl and I remembered from playing with Greg Randall to take the mat to the back of the line when you're in trouble, to get maximum length of the greens,” Daley revealed.
“My first two bowls went within inches of the jack and the next two found good covering positions.
“Then, he played an off target drive leaving me holding four shots and him with one bowl to play.
“It was at this time the butterflies in the belly started playing up because I knew it was out of my hands and that one good bowl from Aron could steal it all away.”
With the crowd murmuring and the tension flung off the Richter scale, Sherriff set to work.
“Ten feet from the target I realised he wasn't turning quickly enough,” Daley laughed.
“It nudged the second closest and finished well away from the jack and I just stood there with hands on my head and in shock after beating the red hot favourite.
“He had all those supporters there and me, the unknown from the North Coast, had just my girlfriend Rachel and her sister to cheer me on.”