Romford bowls duo make national quarter-finals

PUBLISHED: 11:30 17 August 2019

Jack Butcher and Dan Hughes of Romford BC

Jack Butcher and Dan Hughes of Romford BC


Impressive display by Hughes and Butcher at Leamington

Romford's Dan Hughes and Jack Butcher showed they are a match for most junior pairs in the country after a fine performance in the National Finals at Leamington.

They eventually lost in the quarter-finals, going down in a very close game.

But Hughes was delighted with the way the competition went.

"It is always good going to Leamington," said the 20-year-old. "It is a lovely green with good pace, almost like an indoor green, and though the lines are sometimes tough, it is a good place to play bowls.

"The weather was good, there were plenty of spectators and having qualified for the finals you play with a lot of confidence."

The Romford duo had a tough opener against a team from Cambridgeshire, skipped by England man Robbie Barker and one of his brothers Jamie.

"We didn't start well and were 5-1 behind before we really got going," said Hughes, who helped to bring the scores level at 7-7.

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"I think their skip did not have his best game and from then on we were the better team, I think. We picked up a four and a couple of threes and in the end won 18-11."

That earned them a second round tie against a pair from Dorset and it proved to be a one-sided clash.

"They had been at Leamington before, but we hit some great form and we started well and were always on top," added Hughes after they cruised to a 27-3 win two ends early.

"We felt confident going into the quarter-final, but we knew all the teams left were very good."

That proved to be the case as they took on a team from Northamptonshire.

"One of them was another England skip and the other was a national disability champion so it was always going to be tough, but I felt we should have won it, we controlled most of the game," said Hughes. It was certainly a nip and tuck match, but the vital moment came at 13-13 with two ends to go.

"We dropped a three and that was crucial," admitted Hughes.

"It was always going to be difficult to get back against a quality pair and we couldn't quite manage it."

They lost 17-13, but for Hughes it was a good experience.

"I think we played pretty well in Leamington," he said. "Hopefully we can get there again and maybe go even further."

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