World pairs glory for Ely’s Greg Harlow and Nick Brett
08:48 21 January 2014
City of Ely Bowls Club duo Nick Brett and Greg Harlow were crowned world indoor bowls pairs champions after ending the three-year reign of Paul Foster and Alex Marshall.
Scottish pair Foster and Marshall hadn’t suffered defeat in this event since losing to Andy Thomson and Ian Bond back in 2010, but were second best as they fell in straight sets to the Ely pair.
Harlow and Brett started by collecting an impressive first-end three to take an early lead, which turned into a 4-2 advantage after three ends. Harlow then turned on the style sticking two on the jack, which his counterpart skip Marshall failed to narrowly take off, which gave them a healthy 6-2 cushion.
This became 7-4 and a big end from Harlow and Brett, who both drew two to within a foot of the jack, which Marshall was unable to respond to handed them a full house and an 11-4 advantage, with two ends to play.
Foster was struggling to get anything close, with Brett taking advantage of the Scot’s rare off day to put himself and Harlow on the front foot, with his partner feeding off Brett’s confidence to outbowl Marshall in the battle of the skips.
Brett stuck another opening bowl close and Harlow added a second, with Foster yet again leaving Marshall with some work to do and he fired off target as the Ely duo wrapped up the first set 13-4.
They took the first end of the second set, thanks to Marshall’s confident draw, and it was then 2-0 as Harlow fell millimetres short, but still succeeded in reducing the count from three.
Foster finally found his range and Marshall added another as they forged 4-0 ahead after three ends, but the Ely pair hit back with a single and double, before singles were traded to make it 5-4 to the Scots after seven ends.
Harlow drew another shot to make it 5-5, after Marshall split the head and then failed to fire off his rival’s green bowl. Another Marshall shot made it 6-5 to the Scots, before a cracking draw from Harlow sealed a double to give them a 7-6 lead going into the final end.
And after Harlow had bowled in for second, needing Marshall to send one down within two feet of the jack to take the match into a tie-break, his red bowl looked on course for second but somehow didn’t drop back in to count and thus victory was sealed.
Brett said: “It’s very nice for us to eventually get our names on the trophy,”
Harlow added: “The gods were smiling on us in that last end. We knew we had to play A-plus and we did.”