The man everyone wants to meet

CITY of Ely bowler Greg Harlow admits that he has become the man everyone wants to beat following his victory in the inaugural Co-Operative Funeralcare World Matchplay Indoor Bowls Championships. Harlow, 38, extended his extraordinary winning run at Sheff

CITY of Ely bowler Greg Harlow admits that he has become the man everyone wants to beat following his victory in the inaugural Co-Operative Funeralcare World Matchplay Indoor Bowls Championships.

Harlow, 38, extended his extraordinary winning run at Sheffield's Pond Forge to 18 matches and three International Open titles after beating Mervyn King in the final last week.

The final went down to a tie break but the world number two triumphed over King with a dramatic 10-8, 4-10, 2-0 victory.

Harlow said: "I felt that I was getting better and better as the tournament progressed and my best performances came in the semi-final and final.


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"Winning breeds confidence and belief and whenever I face pressure I know that I can respond because I have done it before.

"I know that I have become the player that others want to beat. Some people will want to avoid me in a draw but there will be others who want to play me.

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"It's a bit like it was with darts player Phil Taylor - you knew that he had to lose at some point and it was just a question of who would do it and when.

"The standard within the top 20 or 30 players is very high and we are all capable of beating each other.

"I have lost to every player in the top 20 so I know that I can't rest on my laurels - I have to be constantly improving my game."

Harlow added: "I have trained very hard at Ely and spent two or three weeks purely working on my delivery technique.

"It sounds very boring but I repeatedly delivered bowls and made sure that I was as smooth as possible.

"It is important that you avoid getting nervous in a match and making any changes to your game during a tournament."

The conditions at Ponds Forge International Sports Centre obviously suit the Ely bowler. Harlow said: "I think I do so well there because it is such a large, air-conditioned arena.

"Variable temperatures during the year do make a difference in Sheffield but I seem to be able to read the run of the balls very well there.

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