Greg Harlow overcomes Paul Foster in thriller to defend Scottish International Open crown

Ely's Greg Harlow.

Ely's Greg Harlow. - Credit: Archant

Ely bowls ace Greg Harlow was crowned Scottish International Open champion for the second straight year after seeing off the challenge of Paul Foster in a thrilling final last weekend.

Connor Cinato.

Connor Cinato. - Credit: Archant

The local star defied an injury earlier in the tournament to secure a place in the final against Foster, and overcame the Scot to claim the trophy for a third time.

Harlow triumphed 4-10, 12-4, 2-1 to successfully defend his crown, and the Ely man was delighted to become only the second player to retain the title.

He told BBC Scotland: “It’s never meant to be easy to win these titles and that’s as tough as I’ve ever had it to win one.

“I thought I had done a serious injury in my first game – I thought I pulled my hamstring. So, to be honest, I’m happy to be playing the tournament and happy to be in the final.

“If I had lost, I would have been equally as happy to be here. So it was probably the least pressure I have felt in any of my finals.”

Foster began the final in impressive form, racing into a 6-1 lead, before closing off the first set.

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Harlow roared back and didn’t allow Foster to win a point beyond the four of the 11 ends.

Foster took the first end of a tie break after Harlow took a 4-2 lead, but the Ely star equalised before taking the victory.

“I can hardly believe it myself,” Harlow said. “Paul dominated the first set. I improved my game slightly in the second and Paul had a couple of bad results.

“I thought Paul had me under pressure so many times and I had to come up the key bowls to keep me in it.”