Billy Harding has set a record by becoming the first person to win the Barrow Rotary Club annual bowls competition for the third time.

On the Co-op Bowling Club’s Dane Avenue green last Sunday, he followed up his success of last year, having also won the trophy in 2012.

He nearly didn’t get to the final at all as he struggled against Ben Wright in the semi-finals, with that match going right to the wire.

Wright opened up a 13-5 lead before Harding pulled the score back to level at 15-15. Wright then took the next five points for 20-15 to move to the brink of victory before Harding ran out with a one, two and three more singles to snatch a dramatic win.

That put him into the final against Dave Benn, who coasted through his semi-final 21-10 against Dave Watterson.

In the final, Harding pulled away to lead 14-5 and then 17-11 before Benn rallied to 18-15 to threaten a comeback similar to what Harding produced in his semi, but he held off the challenge took the trophy at 21-17.

In the quarter-finals Harding beat Dave Bell 21-14, Benn got the better of Keith Roebuck 21-13, while Wright edged past Dave Jackson 21-18 in the tightest of the last eight matches and Dave Watkinson beat John Proudfoot 21-11.

In presenting the trophy, Rotary club president Dave Simm thanked the Co-op bowling club for use of their facilities and event organiser Dave Pedley, as well as fellow sponsors G. Moon & Co, Accountants (Barrow), Cumbria Car Centre (Barrow), Edmundson Electrical (Barrow), Stately Gates (Dalton) and T. Hird, Quality Butcher (Dalton).