Four times British women’s skittles champions, the Everhopefulls have qualified for this year’s finals this weekend – and now have their sights set on a fifth historic victory.

Despite a rather wobbly performance in the qualifying rounds, the team who play out of Millennium House, Pensilva, did enough to make it to the last 16 and defend their title in Torquay next week. Previous wins were in 2005, 2010 and 2012.

Their journey was very similar last year with a rocky ride to the finals but experience came through on the night.

Their fourth victory created skittling history as no team in the competition’s history has ever won more than two titles.

But even the Everhopefulls aren’t invincible. This year’s competition saw them come second in their group, with two wins, a draw and a defeat.

Their nearest rivals, the Dolly Mixers from Totnes in Devon, and runners-up in the championships for the past three years, beat them convincingly by 409 to 354 and will be out to lift the coveted trophy for the first time.

All Cornish hopes rest on the girls team as the Duchy’s only qualifying finalists this year.

The championships, sponsored by Butcombe Brewery, is now in its 12th year.

This year’s championships have undergone rule changes. Instead of a Plate competition for first round losers, all of the teams will play in leagues first, before a series of knock out stages to determine the winners.