Dynamite Dan does it again to make last 16 of county singles
PUBLISHED: 09:30 22 June 2018
Youngster is sweeping away the opposition in style
Dan Hughes is setting the Essex bowls scene alight as the youngster booked his place in the last 16 of the county singles with another dominant performance on Monday night.
Still only 19, the apprentice at Pontoon Dock is proving himself no learner on the bowls green as he has beaten some of the top players in Essex already.
So what has been the secret of the youngster’s success this year, having moved clubs from Wanstead Central to Romford?
“I think it is my mentality that has changed,” said Hughes, who lives in Collier Row.
“I’ve never had much success in singles, but I have gone into the games this year, trying not to big-up my opponents and just play my own game and it has worked.
“I guess my first round match against Steve Mitchinson was my best result because of who he is, a national champion and county winner and international, but I think everyone I have played has been a good player.”
Mitchinson was dispatched 21-13, but since then, Hughes has been dominant, beating Craig Burgess 21-5 and Steve Pickford 21-7, before Monday’s match with Mark Hodges of King’s Chase.
“Mark is a good player and the green over there was excellent,” he said. “I was four down on the first end and managed to draw second wood and it really went on from there.”
The match stood at 6-6 at one stage, but then Hughes took over.
“I picked up a couple of threes and I don’t think Mark was reading the green too well,” added Hughes, who won 21-7.
“It’s hard to believe I’ve got this far, but I am playing well and being at home has helped.”
Hughes will be back on home soil on Monday in the last 16 and he is hopeful of getting through against Peter Shemilt of Silverthorn.
“I have not heard of him, but he has to be a good player to come through his area,” he said.
“I am hopeful of winning at home, but then I look at my half of the draw and it has players like Ed Morris and Andy Squire in it, who are so experienced.”
Hughes has already dumped out plenty of experienced players so why not a few more for the 19-year-old, who is joined in the last 16 by fellow Romford player Mark Nullmeyers.
“He has taught me a lot about my mindset,” said Hughes. “I’m a quieter version of Mark, without his mouth. He likes to chatter!”