Hughes looking forward

JAMIE HUGHES has revealed he’s “building” towards making a breakthrough into the big stage big time.

The Tipton star has impressively delivered the most qualifications through the UK Qualifier route with nine after a double win on Friday in Hildesheim.

Hughes claimed the last European Tour event in the form of the Czech Darts Open and then qualify for both Mannheim and Riesa.

But he was frustrated to blow a lead over Michael Smith in the Matchplay last month. Hughes said: “I’m definitely building towards more consistency and getting a result in a major. It’s a slow process and tough to take at times.

“I’m really happy with the quality of my game. But it’s probably true to say I’m fed up with people saying how I’m good I’m playing on the ProTour. I just want to prove that on the big stage.

“It will come, I know that. It really is a gradual progression. I know I’ve got the game to beat anyone on my day. Nowadays it’s all about consistency and timing.

“Don’t get me wrong, I’m proud of my nine qualifications this year. The Czech Open was also a massive win for me.

“But I have high expectations for myself. It was great to qualify for the Matchplay but I didn’t make it work for me like I hoped.”

Hughes was 6-3 up over Michael Smith, who went onto the reach the final, in the first round at the Winter Gardens.

Yozza opened with a nerve-settling 12-darter and led 4-1 before a 128 checkout for a 12-darter saw him move into a 6-3 cushion against the World Championship finalist.

Smith landed legs of 11 and 12 darts to inspired a run of five straight legs as he powered into an 8-6 lead, and though Hughes briefly responded, checkouts of 120 and 130 sealed the World No.4’s second round spot.

He added: “I got myself into a very good position but didn’t kill it off. That was really frustrating for me but I’ll keep learning. I know I’m going in the right direction and it will happen for me soon.”

By Phil Lanning.