29 January, 2017
Paul Foster is the new ‘Just.’ World Indoor Singles champion, winning the title for the fifth time in emphatic fashion against 2010 champion and the Potters Resort bowls ambassador Greg Harlow 7-10, 11-1, 2-0. World number 4 Harlow set his stall out early, and a full house on the third end gave him a 5-2 lead. Doubles on alternate ends boosted that to 9-4 after seven, and despite Foster scoring singles on three of the last four ends on the best of two sets of eleven ends, Harlow took the initiative 10-7.
Foster had been very consistency in the latter stages of the opening set and that form grew in the second. Playing to a shorter length jack, he scored singles on the first two ends, the first one with a runner to take out Harlow’s holding shot and then took the second with a backhand draw to a displaced jack.
Harlow responded in the third with an inch perfect bowl, but that was as good as it got for the Englishman with Foster completely dominating over the remaining ends to put the result out of sight at 11-1 with two ends in hand and force a best of three end shoot out, which also went his way 2-0 to take the title.
“On the first of the tie break ends I got a bit boost. I held shot but it was 18 inches away and Greg opted to draw. In the first set he was nailing everything but he sailed through so that was a big bonus for me” said Foster.
“In his previous four matches, Greg had won through with a forehand drive with his last bowl against Tony Webb to avoid a tie break, and with his last bowl on the last end of the tie break against James Rippey, David Gourlay and then Stewart Anderson. I just couldn’t watch his last bowl on the second end. He missed it by a ‘coat of paint’.
“I had a steady start to the tournament. Against Jamie Chestney I wasn’t switched on until halfway through the game and won on a tie break, but I was a lot better against Les Gillett. I just felt I just got better every round and didn’t peak too early.
“In the final I felt I played well in the first set but Greg always had the better of me from the first bowl. He was superb but I felt that as the game progressed I was able to play all the shots I wanted to and my confidence grew at bit and from the latter stages of the second set I was confident that it would go to a tie break”.
In his semi-final he beat number 15 seed Les Gillett 11-4, 5-5 and coincidentally, on his way to the title in 1998 and 2005 the Cambridge man was also his victim.
Other statistics over the match show that the Scot Foster scored on sixteen of the twenty two end match which included the tie break AND without counting the two ends that weren’t played in the second set. And, from trailing 9-4 in the opening set, and despite losing that 10-7, he won thirteen of the next fifteen ends of the match.
Foster has now chalked up 11 WBT titles, consisting of 5 singles, 4 pairs and 2 mixed pairs to equal the number held by Tony Allcock. Alex Marshall holds the record with 13.