Bowling over tough opposition


Steve Hughes and Otto Dawson. Picture: Will Russell         www.communitypix.com.au   d450968
Steve Hughes and Otto Dawson. Picture: Will Russell        www.communitypix.com.au d450968

It has been a long-time coming, but Steve Hughes (Melville Bowling Club) and Otto Dawson (Manning Eagles) can finally count state silverware among their bowls achievements after beating Osborne Park pair Steve O’Neil and Grant Nicol 16-11 in the grand final.

Hughes and Dawson topped a field of 96 teams competing for the coveted trophy and while most of their victories appear comfortable on paper, it was not all smooth sailing.

“We came across some very formidable teams playing on their home ground at Osborne Park,” Dawson said.

“From the quarterfinals onwards, all of our games were against Osborne Park teams and they were all quality players – state representatives and certainly Premier League representatives.”

“We also had to change from a 16-second green to an 18-second green for the quarterfinal while the pair we were up against had played on the 18-second green the previous game,” Hughes said.

“That was a challenge to modify our game and to stay competitive and it resulted in a very close game – we actually only won that game with the last two bowls.”

Hughes has been bowling for the past 25 years, while Dawson took up the game just over a decade ago.

“I had a minor heart scare some years ago and the management of my cardiac condition was such that I had to do a lot of exercise,” Dawson said.

“I stumbled across a bowling green one day and got roped into playing.

“That became my form of exercise and now I play four or five times a week all year.

“I get a lot of exercise, but even more importantly I get the happiness of meeting hundreds of different people and I really cherish the camaraderie and community spirit of the game.”

Hughes kept the hot streak going to win his fifth Melville Bowling Club singles championship at the start of the month, equalling the record set by former Australian representative and national coach Geoff Oakley.

He was also named the Melville Bowling Club Bowler of the Year, his third title in five years, after returning to the club after a two-year stint at Kardinya.