Football: FINAL BLOW
PUBLISHED: 10:16 02 February 2006 | UPDATED: 11:28 04 May 2010
GREG Harlow suffered final heartbreak at the World Championships in Norfolk on Sunday - after losing to his best friend. Harlow, 37, was defeated in the final by home-town favourite Mervyn King 12-8, 13-9 as the Fakenham man became the first unseeded play
GREG Harlow suffered final heartbreak at the World Championships in Norfolk on Sunday - after losing to his best friend.
Harlow, 37, was defeated in the final by home-town favourite Mervyn King 12-8, 13-9 as the Fakenham man became the first unseeded player to win the championship.
Harlow, pictured right, who is godfather to King's son Sam, had nothing but praise for his victorious opponent.
He said: "I'm slightly disappointed that I couldn't have given him a better game but I'm delighted for Merv, and the fact is that you sometimes can only play as well as your opponent allows.
"He gave one of the most consistent demonstrations of draw bowling I have ever seen. He was just fabulous."
Harlow, whose own march to his first world singles final has provisionally put him top of the world rankings, sells himself slightly short.
For most of the first set he played an equal part in what was shaping to be one of the great singles finals, leading 2-0, 4-3 and 7-6.
Then King's relentless pressure told as he won four of the last five ends to finish up with a 12-8 scoreline, which did not fully represent how close the men were matched.
The second set was more one-sided, King racing into an 11-1 lead after five ends.
When 14th seed Harlow won the sixth end, he threw his arms up in mock celebration, but it was all over bar the shouting.
"Whichever of us won the final was always going to feel slightly desperate for the other," said Harlow, who now bowls at the City of Ely club but used to partner King when they were members of Hunstanton BC.
Harlow will turn his attention to the Welsh International Open in Llanelli, which starts tomorrow (Friday).
He has a bye in the first round but will face Israel's Raymond Sher in the last 32.