Ely bowlers edged out of world final

PUBLISHED: 12:20 15 January 2008 | UPDATED: 10:01 04 May 2010

Greg Harlow in action

Greg Harlow in action

CITY of Ely bowler Greg Harlow and his partner Mark McMahon were edged out in a thrilling Potters Holidays World Indoor Pairs Final on Sunday by fellow Englishmen Ian Bond and Andy Thomson. In the first all-English final since 1997, the number two seeds H

CITY of Ely bowler Greg Harlow and his partner Mark McMahon were edged out in a thrilling Potters Holidays World Indoor Pairs Final on Sunday by fellow Englishmen Ian Bond and Andy Thomson.

In the first all-English final since 1997, the number two seeds Harlow and McMahon outplayed their opponents in the first set, winning 11-4 with an end to spare.

The roles were reversed in the second set, however, with Bond and Thomson leading 5-0 after just two ends and eventually taking it 11-6.

The best of three ends tie-break saw the fifth seeds go 1-0 up, and they were holding a shot for the second end until Harlow's sumptuous delivery levelled the scores at 1-1.

"Greg's last bowl in the second end of the tie break was incredible," said Bond afterwards, but he and Thomson held their nerve during the final end to clinch the £10,000 first prize.

Harlow and McMahon - playing in a competition together for the first time - had almost seen their challenge derailed in the opening round against un-seeded pair Neil Smith and Adam Tidby.

After winning the first set, the favourites lost the second set and then shared the first two ends of the tie break with their opponents before scraping home 11-5, 5-10, 2-1.

The remainder of their passage to the final was plain-sailing by comparison.

Number seven seeds Mark Royal (England) and John Price (Wales) were dispatched 7-2, 9-4 at the quarter-final stage, and then third seeds Paul Foster and Alex Marshall were defeated 8-8, 11-5.

Eventual winners Bond and Thomson upset the rankings by overcoming top seeds Billy Jackson (England) and David Gourlay (Australia) in the last four.

In the Singles competition, Harlow - the third seed - faces Welsh qualifier David Axon, who did just enough to win his fourth round match with New Zealander Philip Bennett 10-4, 3-10, 2-1.

Another Ely bowler - Andrew Ware - beat fellow qualifier Alistair Hansen 10-4, 3-10, 2-1 for the right to face 14th seed Les Gillett in the second round on Monday night, but his run came to an end against the experienced Englishmen who won 9-5, 10-3.

Australian qualifier Ceriann Davies created history by becoming the first woman to progress beyond the first round of the Singles competition after beating England's Glenn Shipp 6-5, 7-7.

The 29-year old Queenslander is only the third woman ever to qualify for the flagship World Bowls Tour event, and she earned the right to play New Zealander Jamie Hill (seeded 16) on Monday afternoon.

That resulted in yet another victory for Davies, but she had to come back after losing the first set 10-4. She stunned Hill by taking the second set 11-1, however, and then took the first two ends in the tie-break to reach the last 16.

In the first round of the Mixed Pairs, top seeds Jo Morris and Greg Harlow will play Georgia White (Australia) and Jason Greenslade (Wales).

Un-seeded South African Robin Ashby remarkably failed to score in his Second Round clash with 12th seeded Mark Royal of England. Ashby's hopes of causing an upset looked slim after a 16-0 first set drubbing, and things improved only marginally as Royal took the second set 10-0.

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