Scottish International Open - Monday 7th November
the full match report below
Defending Champion Greg Harlow made the perfect start here at the Co-op Funeralcare Scottish International Open 2016 by taking the first set of his first game without reply 11.0 against the Welsh Qualifier Damian Doubler. Billed as one of the highlight games of the first round it was expected to be a tight affair. But Harlow showed his class by not letting Doubler get a look in in the first set.
Set two Doubler started better and Harlow, carrying an injury he suffered in the first set, seemed to be struggling. Doubler picked up a four at end five to take a 6.4 lead. Limping as he played, the World No 4 Harlow fought to remain in the set and at the last end was only one behind at 6.7. Could he get over the line? A tie would be enough after his outstanding first set win. With his last bowl he just came up short and Damian took the end on a measure.
Tie break time. End one was won by an impressive runner from Harlow. Second end and Harlow used all his concentration to finish the game off with a 2.0 win in the tie break.
Experience, grit and determination got defending Champion Harlow over the line. Doubler played well but it is never nice to see a top class athlete struggling with an injury. Can Harlow fully recover before round two tomorrow?.
The next game featured one of the most consistent players over recent years at this event. Needing to stop his drop down the World rankings it was an impressive Paul Foster MBE who took to the rink here at the Dewars Centre in Perth for the second game of the day. Facing England's Chris Gale, who beat Foster here back in 2004, Foster was aware he had to be his usual formidable self. Taking the first set in just seven ends 14.1.
The second set saw the Lancashire man Gale hang on the Foster and after six ends Foster was only 4.3 ahead. But Foster was not to be denied and finished off the game with a one shot count followed by a double. Foster now faces Mark Dawes in round two.
The final game of the day featured World No11 Mark Royal against Cumbrian Trevor Taylor. Both players have been on form in recent months Taylor winning both PBA qualifiers at his home club back in September. It was Taylor that hit the floor running in the first set and although Royal hung in till the last end it was Taylor that took the set 9.6.
The second set was a tight affair with Royal leading after four ends 3.2. But Taylor is no stranger to the big stage and has qualified several times for WBT events in the passed and many have thought his time would come in one of the ranking tournaments. With two very impressive ends from Taylor, Royal was looking down the barrel of defeat and when the dust settled after nine ends. Another seed had fell at the first hurdle and it was Taylor who took the last sixteen place with a 10.4 second set score.
Scores from today:
Greg Harlow 11.0 6.8 2.0 Damian Doubler.
Paul Foster MBE 14.1 7.3 Chris Gale
Mark Royal 6.9 4.10 Trevor Taylor