'El­der' makes the cut at last

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - SPORT -

BOWLER John McGuin­ness has been to the Com­mon­wealth Games be­fore, but to­day (Thurs­day) will be the first time he has ac­tu­ally com­peted.

The 47-year-old Ger­rards Cross Bowls Club mem­ber is part of the triples and fours teams in Glas­gow.

It will be a long-awaited first ma­jor tour­na­ment for a man who has been an Eng­land in­ter­na­tional for 15 years, and whose list of hon­ours reads like a novel.

How­ever, he sac­ri­ficed the chance to play at the Mel­bourne Games in 2006.

“You have to be a part of the elite squad picked ev­ery year to be el­i­gi­ble, and I was part of it in 2006, but as one of the team’s ‘el­der states­men’, I was asked to be per­for­mance direc­tor,” he ex­plained.

“I was still al­lowed to play, but as one of my du­ties was pick­ing the team, I didn’t think it would be fair to pick my­self.

“It was a pretty un­usual sit­u­a­tion, but I chose to make the sac­ri­fice as I knew I would get another chance.

“I was in the elite squad again for Delhi 2010 but didn’t make the fi­nal cut, so I’m de­lighted to have made it this time.”

But what of Eng­land’s chances in Glas­gow?

McGuin­ness is con­fi­dent of re­turn­ing home to Bucks with a medal or two tucked away in his lug­gage.

He added: “Eng­land are re­spected as one of the top teams on the bowls scene.

“We medalled in Manch­ester, Mel­bourne and Delhi and are ex­pect­ing more this time, but Scot­land will be hard to beat on their home turf.”

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