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

PUBLISHED: 11:20 14 November 2016 | UPDATED: 12:51 14 November 2016

Ely's Greg Harlow.

Ely's Greg Harlow.

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.

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.

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.”


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