The final of the Co-op Funeralcare International Open 2018 was a cracking match full of twists and surprises with both players missing a few here and there and then also playing some blinding cracking millimetre perfect edge of seat bowls. David Gourlay from Scotland and England’s Greg Harlow faced off for the title and it was Gourlay that took off to a flying start going 8,0 up by end four in the first set. Greg Harlow then grabbed a double in end five but again it was Gourlay that took ends six and seven to build his lead to 11,2. Harlow did not give in though and as Gourlay seemed to take a little falter it was Harlow that started to edge away at the scoreline taking 5 shots off Gourlay over the next two ends to go into end ten 4 shots behind. Several times it was Harlow that was holding a double or a treble to close the gap and Gourlay would play a close second bowl so all Harlow could get in the last two ends was a single each time. Gourlay takes the first set 11,9
Into the second set and it was if Harlow had a second wind as he started to nip away at Gourlays bowls and it was Gourlay this time on the back foot. It was 3 all by end 4 and Harlow managed to get a further three singles away over the next three ends. Then it was Gourlay’s turn as he posted two singles in ends eight and nine, but Harlow sealed the set with a double and a single at 5,9 to take the match into the tie break.
Harlow lay shot in the first end of the tie break until Gourlay played a great shot to wrest it away from him and first end to Gourlay. Second end and it was Harlow’s turn to do unto Gourlay what Gourlay had done to him – Harlow has second end. Last end and both players looked determined and concentrated as they started this last end – A couple of wide bowls around the jack and it was Gourlay that lay shot and twice Harlow narrowly drifted just past by mere millimetres and it was a smiling Gourlay that took the final end and Champions Trophy.
Rather that I try to describe every shot this is a match well worth watching on either the World Bowls Tour Youtube or Facebook !!