Rishi Persad presents live semi-final action from the World Indoor Bowls Championships at the Potters Leisure Resort in Hopton-on-Sea. Commentary comes from David Corkill.
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Hello, everyone. At the start of each year, the best indoor bowlers
gather on the East Coast of England for the World Championships, held at
the iconic Potters Resort in Norfolk, a place where dreams can
come true. Always the World Championship at
Potters, you always got butterflies. I still do when I drive here to come
to the tournament. As soon as I walk in I feel it. It's a place I've
always loved. I've been very successful. It's my second home.
The crowd appreciate great bowls but also it's a surface where if you are
not in your game, it's a lonely place to be. It's a won dirtful
place to play and you just hope that everything goes right for you when
you're out there. Very close. Got it. -- a beautiful place. It's the
biggest title you can win in bowls, to be honest. I watched Potters
every year on the telly and I thought, I want to be there, my dad
done it. To be here one year then to qualify the next then win it is
fantastic. We all want to walk away as world champion. That's the
pinnacle in our sport, whether it be singles or pairs or whatever.
Potters is the best venue we play at, no shadow of a doubt. We've got
the crowd. Unbelievable. I love coming first place and performing,
the crowd are behind you and wishing you well and everybody is so
friendly here. The place is remarkable. Bowls should be here all
the time. It's semi-final Saturday in the open singles Championship.
Huge crowd in here at Potters to watch four of the best players in
the world batting it out for the two spots in tomorrow's final.
This is the match-up between Paul Foes, and Les Gillett.
-- Paul Foster and Les Gillett. The first semi-final took place
earlier today between the four-time singles champion, Paul Foster
against number 15-seed Les Gillett. These two have met on four previous
occasions, Foster leading the head-to-head teleone. Two of the
matches were in the open singles in 1998 and 2005. Foster went on to win
the title both years. They started brightly with some brilliant play
and the second end, it saw Foster drawing this. Gillett came up with a
better reply, perfect weight and conversion to a double in the 15th
said. Foster took four in a row to go into
the final end leading 8-4 and put himself in a position where he saled
the spot. 46-year-old Gillett overcame Darren Burnett in the
quarter-final. 12 hours later he battled hard to stay in this match.
Foster had been taken to a tie-break in his quarter-final against his
opponent. The brave draw gave him a double to put him in control of the
set. Guilt was hanging on. He responded
to the pressure with high-quality play, to grab a single in the
eighth. It went down to the wire with
Gillett needing a double. His drive was only good enough for one shot.
Paul Foster was through to his sixth world indoors final.
And here is confirmation of that result. Paul Foster through and
he'll play Anderson or Harlow. BBC's David Corkill alongside me.
About the magnitude of this event, arguably Saturday and Sunday of this
weekend of this tournament, the most important in the sport of bowls?
Well, it's the pinnacle, it really is, no doubt about that. You can
tell by Alex Marshall with all the titles he's won, it's about being
comfortable in the venue. We have been here a long time, there are
players that really enjoy it and others just stumble. They have got
to get used to playing on this surface in a pressure situation as
well. And a knowledgeable crowd as well because they'll let you know if
you are playing well, encourage the bowls and if you are dropping short
they'll say, get it going. One man who's got used to it is Paul Foster,
come through the semi-final against Les Gillett, he's in the final for
the sixth time. The only person that's beaten him before is Stewart.
How well do you think Paul will play today? He gets better as the event
goes on and pushes hard. He played very well. Les Gillett was really on
a good run and he negated the first two bowls of Les Gillett a lot of
the time and forced him into play the difficult shots. That's xa you
have to do. Paul Foster safely ensconced into the final. We are
going to hear from the 2010 champion Greg Harlow who's come through a few
difficult matches but has found his inprobation from someone sitting in
the crowd. -- inspiration. Greg Harlow! Greg comes to pretty
much all of my matches. I put him through a bit this week, to be
honest. It's been two last bowl wins. My wife loves it. Without her
support, I wouldn't win half the events I've won. A lot of my success
is down to her support. My options were to take the shot out
clean or to drive the short bowl into the jack and I've got one
waiting in the ditch. My goodness, he's fluked it. I don't believe it.
I hit my target. Not as I expected it. There wasn't a lot in it and I'm
delighted to come through. How do you sum up what happened on the last
bowl? To be honest, it was a fluke. Win, lose or draw, you want to be a
part of good games and that was a great game. Obviously, play Stewart
now in the semi-final, I played him a good few times and obviously the
biggest memory for him is, I played in the 2010 final here when I lifted
the title. I've been trying to draw from that memory a lit. Every day is
a different game. I two into the game with a blank sheet and start
all over again. I won in Scotland. I've been really happy with my game.
I feel like every round I need to improve a bit. Especially the first
set today, I didn't quite find the length as quick as I'd liked. I need
to settle down slightly quicker in the first set in the semi-final. In
all sport, especially our sport, it's nice to get in front and be a
front-runner. Very difficult to chase the game. You have to decide
how many shots are available. It's difficult to chase the game. We need
to start well and get shots on the game as early as possible. From here
on in, it's all about trying to win the title. Here is the reassuring
shot for Greg, she's safely in the crowd and ready to support her man
who's done remarkably well in this tournament to make it through to the
semi-final. He's got a great record overall.
One of the most decorated players in the game and he's been at the top
for a very long time? He has. Coming off the back of the last tournament
as well, Greg is a forehand runner and it's so reliable. It gets
fortune sometimes but it's always there. He gives it a good chance.
You watched Greg wandering around and he looks nice and relaxed. When
he's on the blue rink, he's much more focussed. There's not a lot of
smiling? No, you really can't, you know. When they talk about
personalities off the rink, on the rink what you want to do is focus on
what you are doing, he's here to do his job and he's doing it well.
Let's hear from his opponent Stewart Anderson. He's produced some of his
best bowls ever this week. You need to be at your best to beat
him. I'll be on there practising. It was green yesterday. It will be red
today. Hopefully my red will work as well as the green. I love coming
here, it's the best place to play. The spectators, the family, the
crowds, they are so amazing and I really, really enjoy coming here.
Before I broke into the top 16, that was seven years ago, these chances
don't come around too often. You need to take them.
I manage to win in 2013. There is an opportunity I can win 2016 so you
must take the chances when they come -- 2017. He's one of the most
naturally talented players in the game, 31 years old.
He produced an outstanding performance to beat Nicky Brett in
the quarter-finals. He didn't give him an opportunity at all. The first
bowls, devastating. He's going to have to reproduce that. Can he? I've
seen it before with Stewart. I've seen him play some fantastic games
and he'll know he's going to be up against a player who is very
relaxed, also a very attacking player, so if he's going to
dominate, he has to get the two bowls in. No way I'm going to let
you go into the commentary box without telling me who you are going
to win? Oh, no. The way Greg's played, slightly off target, you
would think his name is on the trophy. OK, all right. Corky has to
go to the commentary box but the players are ready to come on to the
rink. It's time to say good afternoon to the MC, Richard.
Thank you very much. Thank you. Our player has gained the utmost respect
from many of his peers, twice the world under 20s an former World
Indoor Champion, give it up for Stewart Anderson.
APPLAUSE. And next, to one of the game's most
naturally gifted players on the circuit. Former World Indoor Singles
and back-to-back reigning Scottish Open champion, the world number
four, Greg Harlow! APPLAUSE.
Should be a terrific match this afternoon. By the way, if you have
got a view or question from the team, get in touch with you via
Twitter. Time to head up to the commentary box where three-time
singles champion Mr Thompson is beside Mr Corkill. Difficult to
call. The last two matches, one was bang
on target and got a great result. I'm starting to think, as a lot of
others are, that maybe his name is on the trophy. I think if it had
been posing the same question, I would have given the same answer. A
slight favouring for Greg. I think he'll mix a length against Stewart
here and he'll go along. But again, we keep going on about it. The
opening bowl is about critical. Right away, it's Stewart Anderson
playing the back hand. I'm sure he will have favoured the forehand
side. On the back hand, he played a good ball.
Stewart Anderson off to the first bowl. The challenge is on. When
Stewart Anderson won his last match, it was quite interesting that when
he was up in the players lounge, Greg was up complimenting him on his
play and more or less saying, try not to do it in the next one! Always
hard to repeat it. Yes, always is, David. Stewart's already said that
he's changing from the green to the red but I don't think it will have a
major effect on his performance. He normally plays with reds in general
play so it's not as if the bowls are foreign to him. He's used to the
balls. Decent. Both players will be happy.
Stewart close with this one. Got a chance. Ball or jack. He's found a
gap. Big gap there. Played that with good weight but
he's in the receiving position. Looks like a position ball. Two
options, he can draw in on the forehand around his own balls and
try to split the two reds. Drops a little bit short. Close to another
Looks like two. Chance for a two or three here for
Stewart. Got his own ball to promote. Just
caught it half bowl. Greg Harlow off and running with a double.
APPLAUSE. That is dad. As always, turned up
with sweets. . A baker by trade. He's always very good.
Les Gillett did it towards the commentary box, very few do it
normally. It's a very reliable hand. 15 inches to slot a ball in. Just be
looking to add number two. Rough measurement, five inches in
diameter. That's what most players use. And he's found it. Five or six
inches in the gap and they can make it. Hiding the jack, making it
slightly harder for Stewart. The forehand draw, a little touch on the
jack would be a bonus. Played it well yesterday. We'll see how it's
going today. First bowl on the forehand.
Looks to be close. Coming back quickly. Not sure it stopped in time
for second. Time out called. Obviously very
undecided as to where this last bowl should go. Coming down to the rink,
just to have another look. Ideally, we'd really like to get a bowl in
that position if he possibly could. But, even if he doesn't, anything in
this sort of area here, Andy, has got to be beneficial. I agree. The
problem of going deep on it is, if he goes deep, there is a little
trail on. Ideal position is between the jack and the red balls.
I think he's made sure he's through. That covers deep position if the
ball's pushed on to the jack. Slightly forces Stewart into playing
the perfect ball, as opposed to running through the head. Needs to
play this one one foot less. Jack length 26 metres. Always good
to see the young players coming in to see the players of this sort of
quality. They can learn a lot from them. Yes, I recognise the
youngsters from the White Oak in Swanley in Kent not far from myself.
Greig out the traps the quicker of the two at the moment -- Greg.
In the last match that Stewart Anderson played, against Nicky
Brett, that would have been a bad bowl. Took him about two ends to get
into his groove. Greg is basically putting him under more pressure than
Nicky was. That's the difference. Greg is lying better.
It's a good bowl. Right on top of the jack. Just to settle him down a
bit. Once again, Stewart just finishing a
little bit short. Still two down. Problems again for Stewart Anderson.
Doesn't want to drop another double. No, he has no back position so he
has to be very careful. We have just had a question through Twitter
asking who decides what colours the players play. Well, if you are top
of the draw coming through, you are red. If you are bottom, you are in
green, simple as that. It won't help Stewart but it really
won't hinder him either. Certainly not on the draw. Not an awful lot to
hit there. This is a difficult shot to gets out of. Just a draw David.
Needs to add a foot on to his previous delivery. Back hand draw.
He's interested in it. Just needs to get back. Won't make it. Needs to
bend. He's going to... Oh, the ball is dropping. It was always going to
drop. Stewart Anderson will be happier. Good last bowl. Greg Harlow
takes a 5-0 lead in the opening set. Three ends on the trot and of course
Greg Harlow able to deliver the jack to his favoured length.
I think we'll see a change if Stewart gets hold of it. Certainly
will, Stewart happier on the longer length. But at the moment, he's
going to have to score. Greg is putting him under pressure. Really
started well, Greg Harlow. Again, it's not a bad bowl by
Stewart but he's losing the battle with the first two.
APPLAUSE. Might be tempted by this to go
early. Needs to do something quickly.
Got a nibble of the second one on the way through. Solid connection on
the first. Wanted the jack. It's not a bad result, but Greg will
just add another. Hit the target. That's all you could ask for. Greg
Harlow will be adding another shot in here.
This is probably Stewart's easiest chance. 18 to 20 inches to draw.
Good try, good weight. You can drop into position on the green ball.
Draw another shot and position at the same time.
Final bowl of the end might be the forehand draw David. Same thing.
Doesn't matter which way he plays it, fore or back. I think he's
probably the happier of the two players playing this forehand sides.
This needs to run. There's always the potential of dropping short on
the forehand. Last bowl of the end, didn't need to
worry about the position, just draw the shot. Change of length.
Always good crowds here, good attendance right from the
first-round matches. Jack length, 29 metres.
Semifinal stages, still on nine ends a set for the first two sets. If the
players are level, we move on to a three-end tie-break. The rules
change slightly there. It's cumulative shots at the moment. Not
just about winning the ends, it's about winning the end with as many
shots as possible. One that's very close to being a
front toucher. The next one needs to be behind, that's good.
If you can open the ball close, it's all about position, where is the
Jack going to go, not just about putting close bowls in. That's why
Greg has gone deep as well. He was never going to be short there. He
had a good second. Singles, certainly indoor and outdoor, always
going to be about strategy, tactics, trying to outthink your opponent.
Just dropping through again. I don't think that was meant to be there.
Just a bit heavy. It's always good to see some of the younger ones
coming through, especially playing bowls, they will learn from this,
but of course they play a lot of other sports. It's in the mix.
This is a good chance now. Stewart Anderson is aware of the fact he
needs to get up close to Greg on the scoreboard. Yes, he would expect to
make this one count. Looks to be under. He played a
really good first bowl, but it's fair to say the next three have been
struggling. I think he was struggling because he had to play
the other side, he would have rather kept all bowls on the forehand. Greg
asking the question, was he two seconds. He would be tempted to run
this bowl. Even bowl on the jack's good, but if he only has the one,
it's a different type of shot needed. I think he's playing a more
conservative type of shot really. Only one down. Just stick to the
backhand draw. Very close, if he runs. Oh, it's a good try. Needed a
little bit to have the width. Stewart Anderson another single.
Closes the gap to three shots. He's very good 29. 5, getting up
towards the maximum. One red. Certainly the standard of
play is all there, no doubt about that. A massive difference between
the indoor and outdoor, when it comes to distances from the jack and
the ability to score, down to fractions at times, here. Yes, the
players would always expect a draw within six inches if they're playing
at a high standard. I'd agree, outdoors, a lot harder. I believe
you've just got back from New Zealand, where the conditions were
not ideal for the British players. It was very difficult. I really felt
sorry for the guys at times. Men and women's events, one venue there was
actually the flags were flying in three different directions. So you
couldn't really judge. Bowls three, four, five feet away scoring. When
the wind dropped, it was perfect. This one, touching the jack.
Brilliant. Two green. He'll be happy with that
one. Forcing Stewart into the running
ball in the area. Good strike. Yes, that will do. Depends where the
jack's finished. It's right on the peg by the looks of it. No, it's
not. That's a bad result then. Respot, one green. Not that far away
either. About two-and-a-half feet away. Greg's got two bowls now to
Stewart's one. So advantage Greg at the moment. He really needed that to
stay within the confines of the rink.
This should be number two. Just needs to run. Still a yard.
Two green, no matter where Stewart puts this, I suggest Greg will be
after it, if it is the number one shot. Oh, that's narrow.
That's very narrow. I don't think he'll hold up.
He's going to get caught on the green one. Oh, he got away with
that. Oh, goodness me! One red! As you say, wherever it goes, Greg
could run it out. I think it's just a draw.
Didn't look like he would pass Greg's shot bowl. There's no clean
shot to it, he has to draw it. A touch on the jack will make a
double. He's had one go, this should be better.
Didn't quite get the jack. Final delivery from Greg, slightly wider
road, a yard more weight draws the shot.
APPLAUSE . The spray chalk going on. Showing
that's a toucher. If that bowl goes into the ditch, it stays live. If
the bowl goes into the ditch without touching the jack, it's taken away.
So much has changed over the years. The spray chalk makes it easy
whenever it's sitting at an angle. Good invention. When was that? Six
or seven years. Multicoloured ones now for all the different types of
bowls, which makes it easier as well, especially if you're putting
the white spray onto a mixture of white bowls, it's just impossible
then. So we've got all sorts of colours available.
Those stickers have been through the mill a bit! Certainly have.
Certainly not a new pair. Or a new grouping of stickers.
Greg slapping the thigh. I think he's high and wide.
Chance here for Stewart. It is, but you know what Greg's like with the
runners. He's only got one bowl in there, but that wouldn't stop Greg
from having a go at it. The angle's good to get the two red ones out.
Stewart needs another one, at least up to his own bowls, if not behind.
He's trying to make it to his own. He hasn't protected it. There's a
natural angle for Greg Harlow here off the outside edge. If he gets the
outside bowl on the edge, it will bring him into the jack for a
double. Doesn't need too much weight for this shot, just an arriving
draw, as we call it. Pushing in with a foot or two of weight.
The crowd shouting there, "Turn. Turn." He knew it was slightly wide.
Good weight for the job. The crowd has been quiet quite at
bowls event, but when you're down, there you can hear their opinions
very clearly. Especially if you're playing a few ball bowls, they will
let you know. Oh, he's struggling. Not playing
enough weight there. Greg will be happy with one down. It's about
playing the percentages now when it comes to the last two, three ends,
in particular. Carrying a three-shot lead with two ends to go, I think
Greg Harlow would have been very happy with that at the start. No
doubt. Three up, two ends to go. Your favourite. Stewart simply needs
to probably score the last two ends to have any chance of a tied set.
Stewart going for the longer Jack length at 29. 5. That's where he
wants to be. No surprises there. No, based on the
previous matches, it's the pattern that we expected it.
He's really playing well. Instantly taking the shot away.
Just have to push through it a little bit, so easy to drop.
One green. Last bowl is jack high. That's not in the way of Greg. He'll
be trying to reach this red bowl, second shot. Gets to that and
Stewart's in a heap of trouble. He's played one under. Wasn't meant
to be there. Second chance here. Just a little bit more to hold that
line. I think the line's quite good that Stewart's playing. He needs to
have a bit of extra weight. Got to be closer this time. Very
close. Very close for the jack. He's got it. Great bowl. Super shot. He
played that well. Same line, just a bit extra weight.
This bowl needs to do a bit of stopping. It looks to be slightly
heavy. It's full of holes and gaps. That's
the problem for Greg. He could run and just run one bowl off. Stewart
drop another one in and really put the pressure on. I think Stewart
will be looking for a back catcher here. That would give him a good
chance of scoring. This would probably be number four coming in.
How close can you get? Needs to hurry. He doesn't want to leave a
wing bowl. There's gaps there. But there is a shoulder to come off.
Whether he wants to play damage limitation, take a couple out or try
to draw it. He could dry to draw this. If he bowls the perfect ball,
almost guarantees the set. I think he's wide and heavy.
I tell you what, this is coming back like a train.
Certainly coming back well. I think he's cut off probably one, maybe
two. He's got third shot with that. Greg will be reasonably happy. The
Jack was off centre, that made a big difference. Two it is.
Good by both players towards the end there.
If the Jack had been on centre rink that was a very wide line. But
because it was 18 inches, off to the side, made Greg's ball look like it
was pretty close. Always a danger, you're looking for
a really good first bowl and you drop it a bit short in the line.
Yeah, the problem possibly later on in this end is that that bowl might
give Stewart problems, especially if Greg gets in first.
He'll be tempted to run at that, if he can see it. That opening bowl
gives him problems. Still just a forehand draw for Stewart. Plays
this hand well on the draw. Oh, he's close. Jack clean. Well
played. Backhand shot here for Greg, is it
the running ball or the draw? I reckon just a draw at this stage.
Wide-open forehand, though, if he needs to play the runner.
Have close, if he runs the distance. The crowd are urging that ball on.
Still one to Stewart Anderson. The way the jack and bowls are framed,
it would never help. This is awkward for Stewart Anderson. He cannot
afford to give the shot away. No, he can't. I think he'll be forced to
play down the wide side, something in hiss direction. He is aware of
the fact that the respot position is over here and that would favour
Greg, if he drives the jack. If Greg doesn't have the shot, but he has
all the play here, I'd agree, Stewart should be going deep. Greg
will not be shocked. It's just how far he's aiming to get behind the
jack. Ideally, get right into it and turn it. But he has to skirt around
the green bowl to do that. That's actually not bad. It's probably
first and third. Close for two. I think that's a good
call. It is close for second. Greg will be running at this with the
forehand. Shake of the head from Stewart. Forehand is his favourite.
It's up one he gets all the results with. He'll be looking for the jack
in the ditch here. High. Oh, that's a horrible result. Really unlucky. I
thought it was better on the high side, the way it was setting,
because he was bringing bowls into the head rather than taking them
away. Got a bad connection. Basically Stewart Anderson now lies
set. Don't say that too often. Forehand, Greg. He's normally very,
very accurate. He tries to put a third shot in in
case Greg moves one of the red bowls. I would be inclined to get a
third bowl in. There's two back green ones and one of them's in the
ditch. He can really beat those. Three red. That's quite a clever
bowl. Yes. Greg removes one bowl. It will still be the set to Stewart
Anderson. Awkward shot for Greg. That's why he's taking his time.
Very undecided. Most players would as well. Take a time out on this
one. Let it run down to five or six seconds, then take a time-out.
Time-out called. He knows how important this is. I still wouldn't
bet against him getting the jack, with the back position the way it
is. Respot, he's probably only one down on the respot. It's actually
quite useful with the ring, we can see the respot position there.
Shaping up for a forehand. This is forehand Jack into the ditch to win
the opening set. Taking a bowl out is no good. Has to be the jack.
Oh, he took one out. Goodness me. Took one out, trundled through and
Stewart Anderson's last bowl is counting for the second. I think it
is. I think this is two to Stewart Anderson.
If Greg's not sure, he'll measure it. To be honest with you, you have
to be sure. Greg's conceded the two. Two good drives. Yes, hit the target
both times today, unfortunately didn't get results. Stewart Anderson
takes the opening set. I think Greg Harlow was the better player in the
opening set but two doubles Stewart Anderson and has the advantage. Yes
overall, just think Greg edged it. Stewart came back very strong the
last two, three ends. He started to get the first bowls in. That really
helped. Greg Harlow, well, he's had so many good drives on that forehand
with good results that you just expect him to get everything. It was
a bit like obviously yesterday as you said, he hit the target probably
both times. But this time he got a bad result. That's the way the sport
goes. Sometimes it's for you and sometimes against. It went against
Greg there. Good reply. Both these players will
not let anything disturb them. If they lose a set, they'll just move
on with the next one. Both been there many, many times. It's always
good to get the first set. You have the draw option in the second, I'd
agree, now this is a reply from Stewart Anderson here. Oh, this is
It's great stuff, isn't it. Thinking about great stuff, we've
got a world record attempt at Moon Fleet 2,000 bowls club in Weymouth
are looking for 72 hours of continual bowling. Current record
held in Australia of 40 hours. They're looking to get it way past
that. It's a great idea. It's for charity.
All part of the Get Inspired from the BBC. Good luck to the
competitors. I thought you would be in there. 72
is a bit long for me. I bet they've got a lot of help. I bet they have.
Three hours is too long for me. I'll remind you of that come the
internationals in March if I'm playing against you. He's reaching,
so that suggests it might be one to green. He's very, very close. A
little chop. Oh, everything moved. So let's have a look now. Fantastic
grouping. He slightly indicated it was one
red. Looking at skill factors in any sport, just have a look at this,
folks. Outstanding. He could do well to try and block
it. I think he is trying to block it.
He could split the green bowl out. If he misses it Stewart quite simply
has got to touch the green. Inside line. Bit of extra weight. Just
needs to break inside the green. I don't believe that. I bet Greg is
amazed at that as well. That was not blocking the shot by any means.
Greg played that thinking it was probably blocking the draw shot but
certainly not blocking the running bowl. Slightly high. I don't think
the bowl was in the way, but Greg will be delighted. Good end from
Stewart Anderson. Was it ever! An inch away and two inches away and he
loses this shot. Well, now, that's just a little bit
far away. Both hands slightly blocked out, but they are both at
least a yard away. Yes, and the bowls the players are using are
strong so can be pushed out wide. Stewart is very close to this green
one. Oh, dear. Occasionally even the top players
play a loose ball. I don't like these sort of ends.
They are dangerous. They are. Once again, Greg is not really that
close. He has to negotiate the front green
one. He has the weight, he's definitely around it.
It will be a forehand draw. Well, he's very straight on the mat. But
going for the draw. Looks a good line. Needs to run though. The
supporters were urging that ball up. Doesn't need to be close to the
jack. Doesn't need to be close to the green bowl either. I think he's
good with this. Well played. Greg's local here in terms of where
he lives and, of course, he works at this venue.
29 metres. His office is right beside us, overlooks the bowls
green. Yes, next door to us. Delighted to be working here every
day. I'm sure they are all there watching him. They have an important
fixture up in Scotland today in Midlothian.
Very, very difficult matches for the top clubs who all play against each
other. And those are the matches you want to play in, Andy, the good
quality ones. Scotland have a league system which is very, very
competitive. Superis obviously from a very strong club, one of the best
in the country. It's an important fixture today, but I'm sure they'll
have a television in the background, his club. -- Greg just needs to stop
chucking through a little bit. Slight adjustment needed.
Still room for Stewart. Picks the line and won't be far away. This
one's close. Needs the bowl, not the gap. Oh,
just caught it, just. Without the edge, he would have just moved on,
probably for second. But he would have been aiming for the green bowl.
Same line from Greg. Doesn't need to change anything. Good chance.
Slightly wide. That bowl is not going anywhere now,
it's locked in. Stewart Anderson will walk down. 30 seconds to play
their next bowl. They have time outs available which adds another 60
seconds, but here we go. Plenty of time for a player like Stewart
Anderson. He does about take any time on the mat. Just keeps the game
moving. Slightly higher line. Greg has three
seconds, but it's so difficult to get the red ball out.
Little touch on the jack would be perfect. Even a running ball is not
guaranteed. It's one of these awkward ones.
Can he clip it out? He's very close to it. Oh, oh, dear! That's why
there was no guarantee, Andy, I just wasn't sure what was going to happen
but that's a very, very bad result. A perfect strike, terrible result.
The red bowl goes out, so do all the green bowls. That's a bit harsh. We
always say that Greg is very good about getting results with his
runners because he's always in the area. He doesn't miss them by a foot
or so, he's always round abouts. He's had three poor results so far
with good drives. He's been fortunate on one or two occasions,
but he's really been unfortunate there. That was hard to take, that
one. Just in there, one shot. We've had a
question come through about the rule or the strategies of the bowlers and
the difference with the curling, trying to protect the bowls behind
it. To be truthful with you, it's completely different, it really is.
The ability to come around bowls is immense.
APPLAUSE. The curling has a consistency with
bowls in that they're always looking ahead, two stone, three stones ahead
and what their opponent is going to do, so from that point of view, it's
very much the same. It's always good and interesting in the curling, good
sport, really enjoy it. Slightly more tactics I think
required. Well, now, here we go. All sports have their strategies.
Shot down. Not an easy head. Might be tempted with this. Not bad. At
least this time we don't think he can take all his bowls out. I think
this is worth a runner. Is he under? I think he is. That is
a rare occurrence. On a draw line. Could disappear. So
could the back one as well the way it's angled.
Greg hits this target. It still may two wrong but he's running at it.
Wider this time. Close. That's what he was looking for.
APPLAUSE. Back in the set.
I think that green ball came up the rink. I was thinking the back red
one was always going to lock in there and he knew about that.
Both players so aware of the importance of the first two.
I thought Greg would have carried on with the back hand. Stewart's a lot
happier playing this. This is just on the edge. Looks very good. Two
inches on the shot. Really took his time on the mat with
that one. Not as comfortable on this side.
Clear run is not bad. Good effort. Very good effort. Probably had
enough weight to make it. Without Stewart's bowl in the way there, I
think he'd have drawn a shot, but a big chance here for Stewart. Any
ball on top of the jack and he's almost certain to score.
Well, it wasn't easy but Greg, he has to play the same shot. Surely he
can't risk a runner at this. Forehand draw here, Greg. Wasn't far
away with the previous delivery. Looks to be wide and heavy. Just
over, but not much. Have to give it a chance. Can't really blame him on
that one. You have to be there. No good dropping two inches too short.
Looks narrow to me. If he's got the running, he's good. He is good. Yes,
he's got the running. He'll make it. Beauty.
APPLAUSE. Very good from Stewart Anderson.
That was not easy. A puff of the cheeks there. Getting
closer. He's the sort of player that doesn't see the finish line too
early. No, fairly calm and relaxed. APPLAUSE.
Stewart pushing through and that's his own jack. He's quite a distance
away. He'll be very much aware of the fact that he still needs to win
at least two more ends. He's normally very consistent on this
length. Looks heavy again. Very little correction made. The danger
now is that over correction problem. You go three, four feet through and
you try and take it off and you end up five feet short. It's enough.
Stewart will still feel confident he can draw this.
There is a slight hole there, Andy, and I've seen that before at this
length. That bowl definitely caught it. No shadow of a doubt. That will
surprise him. I reckon he thought that was close. Greg just asking for
things to settle. We don't always know what it is but
sometimes it's just enough to catch the eye. Quite simply, he'll be
looking to add number three here. Important bowl. Wants this one to be
really close. Chance of picking up a big count. This looks like it's
going to stay in. Falling away, difficult to see but still just a
draw for Stewart. Close but we favoured it's two. So does the
umpire. Just a draw here for Stewart, forehand draw. His previous
deliveries in this direction may have put him off here.
I don't think he can afford to angle it. I don't think it's going to
bend. It's heavy this time, that's the problem. That was the problem.
Greg's got a great chance for four here. He just needs to tap the red
down. Draw another one, tap the red down and get a big count of four and
bounce into the lead. Needs to run. Oh, he's there, he's
there. It's not a problem on the third.
APPLAUSE. They want to see a tie-break.
Now they'll look at the fourth one. Got to be a measure, I think.
LAUGHTER. The um tire will sort this one out.
Very experienced. 6-6 after six ends. Four on the
board there, I think it's actually three. 6-6. He called four but it
was three because he pushed the red out. It's three shots, definitely.
Stewart will be slightly concerned. The first time on his favourite
length but he didn't find the weight. 29 metres. Doesn't play many
like that one. Greg Harlow, first treble of the
Good indication of how difficult this match has been in terms of
scoring multiples. It's a run for home now in the last
three ends for these players. Close with this one. Very good. Picks the
jack up. Just dive in the way of it. Stewart needs to run with this one.
I think he's just under for weight. Stopping a little bit short. He's
presenting himself with a nice position on the other side though.
Just going to drop away. What a nice position, actually, but it stops the
green going out on the forehand. That'll keep Stewart on the back
hand, I would suggest. Yes. His favourite hand would be the back
hand. Same bowl as the last, back hand draw.
He needs to get the green bowl through the gap, though. Can rest on
the back red very easily. Got his own ball on the way in. Just toils a
bit trying to get back off the high line. Yeah, there it is again. Just
not making back with nice weight. Not sure about that shot. In theory,
it's the right shot. But presometimes works against it. Once
again Greg needs another bowl in here. Two seconds again.
That changes things slightly. That's pushed the red bowl into a very nice
position. This is a big opportunity here, a really good shot here for
Stewart Anderson. Forehand runner, lots of chances. He doesn't want to
flick his own bowl out. Might have to be very careful with this. He's
got two seconds, he can afford to attack this. He's under. See what
happens. Oh, he's got a bad result. I wasn't convinced about that. He
was only one shot down. Three ends, two ends to go after, this lose one.
It's not a big problem when you've won the first set. Caught the green
ball. He needed to catch the red ball. That would have. Put the jack
into the decks. Wasn't terribly costly, but at this
stage, one shot, he now has to win the last two ends. Yes, he has.
Greg clever here. He's put the jack length where Stewart struggled on
the last end previously. Good tactics. Tried to get in first.
Greg wouldn't normally have been going here. He knows that Stewart
struggled the last time in this direction.
Both bowls yours, two feet, Stewart 20 irges.
Both bowls just a little bit shy of the jack. The correction comes in
now from Greg. He's a local man, who lives close by. Works here.
A popular player. Stewart just needs to find a couple of feet in his last
delivery. Has to hurry. Must make the length. That was a break. It was
indeed. Little touch was enough to straighten him up.
Four-and-a-half inches, it will still be the backhand draw for Greg.
It was never going to make the shot. To be truthful with you, that's
probably not bad for Stewart Anderson. Keeps his ball on the
head, doesn't it. It's not easy to make another one, either.
One of these ends here that doesn't really matter if Stewart scores one
or two. Yeah, he still has to win it. He still has to win the final
end too. It doesn't matter if he scores one or a double here. This is
going to go behind the head. That's a sensible bowl. Leaving it up to
Greg to tap his own green one. I don't think he'll be too adventurous
at this. Both players will have worked out the position. I would
suggest that if Greg misses this Stewart will just walk away. Yeah, I
think so. That is a little gamble if he wants to put red ball onto jack.
That could secure a three, but probably not. He'll give this one a
chance, make sure he's arriving at it. Everything in his favour with
the two bowls on the backhand. Nothing for short. They're shouting
for the bowl to turn. I don't think that one was ever going to turn. The
best you can do here is two. There's no point in playing it. Just take
the one. Doesn't really matter. Two's no good. It makes no
difference to the last end. The crowd are looking at him thinking
why is he not playing the last bowl. Well, because mathematically he
still has to win the last one. There's only one way this can work
against him, that is if the two bowls are touching or eqidistant
measure. That would be rare, to say the least. We don't have many of
these, David. Fiance Claire and dad Billy will have worked that one out.
No point in playing the last bowl. Simply, Stewart Anderson scores,
he's in the final. Greg scores and it's a tie-break. Exciting end
coming up. The match has been going for about
an hour-and-a-half now. It's amazing, 14 inches short and
just feel it's not close enough. No. Slightly in Greg's path but not
quite. There's room still around the bowl to draw the shot.
Looks to be slightly under. It's very close. He's got it perfectly.
That's a great shot. Just in front. Four-inch gap. Four inches is
beatable. Stewart Anderson cannot afford to drop short to this. I
think Greg's got a bigger draw in both than Stewart. That's why
Stewart is forced onto the forehand. He needs to draw within four inches.
Don't think he's got enough. Just dropping short. He's put it in a
good place. That will plant the green bowl out if he hits it on the
high side. He will have to play a shot to get it. Tense times.
Anything behind is going to be good. This is quite an easy shot here.
Quite Simply Red ball plants out the green ball. That's what he's looking
for. Green ball will pop out and depending on what happens with the
bowl he hits, that one's the key one now. Forehand runner.
Not easy. It holds off in this hand. Gone a bit stronger. Is he under?
He's definitely under. How's the connection? Oh, that's horrible.
That's a horrible result because he's taken his own plant bowl away.
That's made it much more difficult. He was under the head, that's why he
got a bad result. Difficult for Greg here, do you put another bowl in or
stay away? He's got last bowl. I'm inclined to play the backhand and
drop around it. He will be very much aware of the
fact that Stewart Anderson can drive that bowl out. Yes, trying to put a
better shot in. That's good. This one's good.
Stewart is not taking his time really over this. I think he's going
to draw on the forehand. It's only one green. Got to be tempting to go
again after the drive. Just try and flick it off. I think I'd try to
draw this really. You're a courageous man, Andy. Four inches to
draw the shot. I just don't think he gets a good result with the drive.
He'll be happy to hit half bowl and talk it out.
He's playing your choice of shot. Oh, he's under. It's a tie-break.
APPLAUSE It's a tie-break for this match. It
always looked like it could be very, very close.
Stewart has three timouts remaining. That bowl sat there the whole time.
Yes, the opening bowl was the winner.
The trophy. On the first end Greg won the toss. Greg's won the toss.
That's crucial. Yes. I think what's going to be interesting is where
Stewart puts this jack. I don't think the length of the jack has had
such an effect in the second set as the first, but the last bowl, well,
that's one thing thaw don't want Greg Harlow to have. It's been
proven in one or two of the rounds before, that last bowl has been
crucial. The last two rounds he's won the match with the last bowl.
Leading on the backhand. I don't think he's led on the backhand in
any game I've seen played on this backhand full length. Shows you he
doesn't like the forehand. Three-end tie-break, the rules
change again. Accumulated shots go out the window. Win the end, one is
enough. Of course, if it goes to a third end and tie-break, we can
destroy an end, but you have to nominate it. I'll explain that, if
we get that far. Stewart Anderson has played well in
this match, but he hasn't been as dynamic with the first two balls.
Especially in this direction. He's played it well throughout the
tournament. All of a sudden, it's gone off. Looks like the shot, but I
don't feel as though that's close enough.
Are you running, Greg? Don't think you are. Stewart's got no choice. He
has to go again. He won't want to leave a shoulder on the backhand.
That's the dangerer. If he wants to play that, the forehand's open.
Either way, I have a feeling Greg will attack it with the next one.
That's a bit pacy. That's so far away. I think that was quite
deliberate. It surely couldn't have been a draw. I think he's slightly
lost the pace in this direction. Interesting to see what Greg plays.
Still the forehand draw is open or run the ball out. I think I'd go
forehand draw. He's so good at the forehand running ball, he might pop
this one. That's what he's playing. Looks to be wide from the hand.
Always wide. I think Stewart needs another one in. He's got the back
position covered. He certainly needs another one in. Coaches are not
allowed on the green, if I were advising Stewart, I think I'd advise
him to go back onto the forehand and try to draw a shot. That's what I
thought he would do with the last bowl. Because that leaves gaps. He
doesn't want to put the two bowls together.
If you're really at looking a -- at putting a bowl in the right area,
anything around there, gets a second shot unless it's a front toucher and
that's just so rare in a tie-break now. I think that's what he's
looking for, on the forehand as well. He doesn't want to do
anything, but on the forehand, stay away from the backhand.
He's a clever player. Yes, I think. So I think it was a forehand draw.
It's a hand he favours. He will probably get closer. R. If he's
reaching he's got a chance. He's on the right line. It needs to get up a
bit more. That's good. I think that's very good. His line too.
Definitely two red. This is awkward. That's why. Two was important. I
still think he'll run the jack, though. Coming down to have a look.
The respot positions just looking at it.
First bowl a foot away. Second bowl 15 irchlingz. Looking at the respot
-- inches. Looking at the respot there, it's which lies if jack goes
off the rink. He might just dry and draw this -- try and draw this. I
can't see how he's going to get a good result. The only result by
driving is the jack. It has to stay in the ditch and he has to follow
it. I can't see how you get a great result with the dry. I think this is
just a backhand draw. There's enough room to draw it. I think he's on the
backhand or is it a draw or a running ball? Yeah, the draw. I
think this is the right shot. Drchl. Pushed it out on a decent line.
This is very close. I think he's under. That was the right line to
have. He didn't want to be too wide. Played the right shot. Just dropped
short. Advantage Anderson. Gives the jack away. He's got the last ball
this time. It was a loosish type of end. A bit
of a nervy one. You can't blame them for that. You would expect that.
This is big, to get to the world final. Might have another loose end,
but Greg determined to get a good opening ball, try to take control of
the end. It's a full 32 field plus some
prequalifiers, so it's - you have to get through the matches. Some of the
other events there's only three matches involved. That's slightly
different. There's no mistaking the singles.
Greg a lot happier on the backhand side. Happy to put every bowl within
six inches. Oh, he's under, for weight. That needed to be through so
he could drive it. That's a problem. It's only a problem if Greg puts a
good bowl in here. That was the shot that Stewart
Anderson was after. He's in bother here, three inches awa. -- away. I
think it's still the backhand draw for Stewart.
Something not right about it. Reaching through. Can't blame him.
But the first bowl created the problem. I know they're always
looking for that really good first bowl. But you just cannot afford to
be short. Yes, as you say, that short ball has given himself
problems. Greg in a good position here. Maybe tried to block out
Stuart's path. He's going to be close again. If he comes off the red
one, that will finish off the backhand. I think it's hard to draw
this on the forehand. Either that, or push right into it and try and
squeeze it out. Three inches to draw the shot? That's hard. The backhand
is the hand he's favouring. You would think it's still that the
backhand draw is still on. Yeah, still there. Green ball fell down,
so it's not blocking it. Looks heavy. Yes, making sure that
he's not short. That's a long way heavy from what he's looking for.
That didn't even offer a shoulder or anything to come off. If I was Greg
here, I think I'd be inclined to drop one short on the backhand. The
runner's not on, not on the backhand side. No guarantee of Stewart doing
anything with the runner on the forehand. He's going to have to draw
it cold. We're looking good for a third end of a tie-break. Yeah, I'd
agree. Greg will not be going near this, surely. Lies well. Doesn't
need to make it any easier for Stewart. Blocker here would make
life really difficult. I think it's just staying away quite simply.
That's a default shot. Not quite sure what's going to happen. You
just go round deep, cover the respot. That's on one side. He's got
the respot covered with the shot ball on the other side. It leaves a
backhand draw for the match. Yes, draw within three inches. You're in
the world final. This is tough, really tough. Especially with two
bowls that have been heavy. He likes it. Well he's certainly interested.
Let's put it that way. He likes this. Nvment
Oh, what a bowl coming up - is it? Greg started to clap that because he
thought the bowl was going to drop in. But it's very, very close. Oh,
he's not sure. It just seemed to hold out at the last second. He
looks to be coming in. Oh, it's a measure. What's the reaction from
Stewart Anderson, give us a clue Stewart. He's having a good look and
he's very much allowed to do that. I wouldn't call that one. It favours
green, it's sitting down. A measure to get into the world final. When I
was saying about pressure, it's pressure on the umpire! Are Stewart
is just going oh, what's going on here - please don't do this to me.
Both players just praying. Stewart shaking his head. He favours green.
That looks to go through quite easily. I think it's green.
Wow. Once again Greg Harlow sour voifrz. What did I say -- survives.
What did I say at the start? You did, good call. It's a final-end
shootout. Fantastic. Is he destined to win and he's got the last bowl on
this end. Yes, it's advantage Harlow in every possible way. That bowl
from Stewart Anderson should have been the shot. He looked good. He
held on at the last second. The bowl didn't drop either. No. Because Greg
had already clapped it. That's what I was watching, Greg, actually. He
clapped the bowl. He thought it was all over. But now the pressure's
back on. If we thought the first two ends
were tense, this is really going to test both the players.
Once again he's dropped short. Just giving himself problems. Looking for
the perfect draw. I can understand why it happens, because he's looking
for the perfect draw just right up to the jack. You drop short with the
first one, it's a big problem. Neither bowl probably lie, at the
moment. The funny thing is that forehand red bowl is just a little
bit in the way. Might be a good protector, if Stewart can get the
shot. I don't think he's passed it. No, he's not running. Oh, dear. Wow.
Well, that really does make life very hard. It blocks out both
players. Simply whoever puts the bowl on top of the jack here is
going to win this end. That's why Greg is taking his time. Relaxing
that arm, nice relaxed delivery, push through the ball.
Still a nervy one. Still not close enough. He took a lot of time over
that, Stewart. He's got another chance. But again those short bowls
just, they're not really in the way, but you have to have a lot of faith
to push the bowl out wide. They're not in the way. He's definitely
using a flatter bowl. Now, has he got enough this time?
Certainly wider. Will it get back, that's the question.
Will it get back with enough. He needs the weight to carry it. I
think he has. That's the shot. It's very beatable.
It isn't hidden. He needed that bowl to be hidden in front of the other
red bowls. Not close enough. Not close enough, but Greg's looking at
this. This is awkward. These two opening bowls from Stewart have
given everybody a problem. Draw on the backhand. I don't think he likes
the backhand. May not like it, but I would draw it on the backhand. If
he's a bit heavy he can catch the bowl or the jack. Just on the bend
in. He's angled here to go on the
forehand. I think he's playing the right hand, the hand that he does
favour. He plays a slightly wide line. He comes off the outside of
the mat with a wider line than most people. He's too high. It won't get
back. Stewart Anderson is going to lie the shot. I think he needs a
closer one. I tell you what, that wasn't far
away. Definitely one red. One red. Confident call. The circles indicate
it's red. This is a problem for Stewart, where do you go? Timeout on
this. He's down to eight seconds. What do you think, will he try and
draw another one on the forehand and leave the backhand open for Greg? I
think I would go deep. Really? I think Greg might just take a chance
at running at this. Two front bowls that are three feet? Yes, they might
just do damage. He's playing the forehand. That probably means a
draw. Probably trying to get a closer shot. I think he needs a
closer shot. He doesn't want to tap his own bowl out either. I don't
think he'll tap it out unless - needs to hurry. Needs to run. Back
positions all against the front positions. That's blocked a path for
Greg. I think that will make up his mind. I think he'll draw it. I think
Greg's looking at the runner here. If he catches any shot, the chances
are he could pick the jack up or take the red bowl out. We're looking
at a running bowl through the gap. If he doesn't get the gap there's a
chance of bringing a red bowl in, with this other red bowl in as well.
Never mind the outside one. There's all sorts of chances there. The
alternative, Andy, nice draw on the backhand. That's a pressure bowl. I
don't think he'll play that. I think hole' play a forehand runner hoping
that your luck is in. Simple as that. You did call this bit way.
Last two matches - forehand runners, one bang on target, one off target.
That is why I think in his mind he'll be thinking I'm quite good
with that forehand runner, I'll hope my luck's in. What a big bowl he
played before to try and get to the world final.
He's in the area. He's got it! CHEERING AND APPLAUSE
The run through and get the jack. He got the target and again a perfect
follow through. Well played. It's been so Greg Harlow, when he plays
the forehand runner and he gets the perfect result. Call it a good bowl,
call it fortune. He was in the area. Greg Harlow is through to the final.
What a match we've seen, tomorrow's final is on BBC Two at 2. 30pm.
Final score is next on BBC One. That's all we have time for. One
more match to go, join us tomorrow for the Open singles final. Bye-bye.
Tom Jones, obviously. Winston Churchill.
Invented the bicycle. The internet. Telephone.
Rishi Persad presents live semi-final action from the World Indoor Bowls Championships at the Potters Leisure Resort in Hopton-on-Sea.
The best indoor players from across the globe gathered next to the Norfolk coast this week and now we're down to the last four in the singles.
Commentary comes from David Corkill.