Harlow and Brett secure third World Open Pairs title
England’s Greg Harlow and Nick Brett took out the Imagine Cruising World Bowls Open Pairs title holding off the new pairing of Mike Stepney from Scotland and Guernsey based Jason Greenslade in a high-end final at Potters winning 10-4, 9-5, (writes Anne Dunwoodie).
Playing together as a partnership for over 20 years, the celebrated duo first sprung to prominence in this event in 2014 beating Paul Foster MBE and Alex Marshall MBE, and they repeated that performance again in 2020 against the Scots.
This time en route to the final they came through in straight sets against England’s Paul Hartley and David Bolt in the 1st Round, best Damian Doubler and Dan Salmon from Wales in the 2nd Round before surviving a tough exchange against Hong Kong qualifiers Ken Chan and Jason Choi 5-9, 9-6, 2-0 to set up their tilt at the title.
In the early stages of their best of two sets of eleven ends final, Brett was the star of the show, continually converting head after head with shots against him, courting the big results and chalking up the first set 10-4.
Stepney and Greenslade kept Harlow and Brett at bay in the second set, tying the first end and then scoring a treble on the second.
They increased that margin to 4-1 after four ends, but Harlow and Brett rolled in three doubles and a single to forge an 8-4 lead.
Stepney and Greenslade briefly hit back with a single, and, on the penultimate end, requiring a full house to win the set and move onto a tie break decider, Brett decided on a ‘damage limitation’ effort – ran at the head, resulting in a spectacular result – dislodging the green shot bowl and smacking the jack to the ditch, and when they just settled it was ‘game, set and match’ with the Englishman jumping for joy as they bagged the title.
“I played a few telling runners in the first set, or we could have been looking at a different scenario” smiled Brett. “We’re a good team Greg and I, we’ve been together for a long time, and we know each other’s game inside out and we just stuck with our game plan today.”
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