City of Ely’s Greg Harlow crowned national champion

English national champion, Greg Harlow.

English national champion, Greg Harlow. - Credit: Archant

Bowls City of Ely Bowls Club stalwart Greg Harlow defeated David Hubbard 21-18 to win the English national men’s singles title for the third time.

Harlow’s previous successes were in 2002 and 2011, while Hubbard, who also lost in the final last year, won the title in 2009.

Spectators were royally entertained at the championships, held in Melton Mowbray, as Harlow, who was out-bowled for much of the game, showed that determination is as important as skill as he fought his way back into contention.

Having scored first - a single on the opening end - Harlow was 9-3 adrift after six ends, and 15-9 in arrears after 12. Trailing 14-18, he faced a match lie on the 19th end, but took the jack through for a count of two, and took the lead for the first time on the 21st end.

He said: “I’m still trying to work out how I did it. David was playing so well, and I just dug in there when things were looking bleak - and it all came out right in the end.”

From 14-18 after 18 ends, Harlow, who is 46, got home with an unanswered streak of 2-1-3-1, and returned a 21-18 card.