Selsey’s England darts classic attracts record Sussex numbers

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THE fourth England Classic staged at the ever-impressive Bunn Leisure by the England Darts Organisation saw a record number of Sussex players fighting it out alongside the top players from across Europe. 

The early bird competition attracted 128 players chasing the £1,000 winner’s prize. In the final Darren Webster from Norfolk edged out Glenn Durrant from Cleveland.

Sussex’s Ken Sowerby reached the last 16.

On Saturday 92 ladies and 256 men chased the respective singles titles, including defending champions Deta Hedman and Steve Bunting.

Hedman lost in the first round to Sue Brazell of Dorset.

By the time the semi-finals of the men’s Singles was reached there was only one top international player, Steve Bunting, left in. The best performances from Sussex came from Chichester’s Chris Gatford, losing 3-2 to pro Martin Atkins in the last 64, and Mick Rodgers and Joe Davies, who both made the last 32.

Live streaming of selected matches on the internet with special guest Bobby George supplying commentary presented Bognor’s Graeme Dutton with his ‘TV’ debut as he reached the last 64.

Bunting, Tony Andrews, Jamie Robinson and Steve West took their place in Sunday’s semi-finals. 

Bunting beat Andrews 5-1 and Robinson beat West 5-2 and in a high-scoring final Bunting retained his title with a 6-4 win.

The ladies’ singles semi-finalists saw Julie Gore, Donna Russell, Lorraine Farlam and ex-Sussex player Donna Rainsley line up. Gore and Farlam made the final, in which Gore ran out a comfortable 4-0 winner.

Chichester’s Hayley Gatford and Bognor’s Trish Kidd both narrowly lost out in the last 16.

In the ladies’ pairs Sussex pair Rainsley and Kidd lost in the semi-final to Dee Bateman and Zoe Jones.

In the men’s pairs Dean Winstanley and Clive Barden lost 3-2 to Ross Montgomery and Steve Douglass.

The best performance from Sussex came from Andrew Hills and Dutton and Jason Hills and Harry Annals, both pairs reaching the last 16.

Bognor Friday Night League

In the Bognor Friday night League’s charity mixed triples, the first semi-final involved the Chichester Snooker Club A team-mates Adey Nicholls, Lucy Nicholls and Arthur Clark and Ian Hills, Babs Hills and Peter Hall.

The second semi pitted Richmond A’s Dave Owens, Paula Duckett and Vince Goddings and Chichester Snooker Club B’s Chris Gatford, Hayley Gatford and Pat O’Hara.

Those reaching the final were the two Chichester Snooker Club trios. After a topsy-turvy final, Nicholls, Nicholls and Clark were crowned champions.

CHICHESTER THURSDAY DARTS LEAGUE

Results: Snooker Club B 2 Crown (Selsey) 9; Spotted Cow 6 Southbourne Club 5; Aldingbourne SC 8 JM Caravan Club 3; Selsey Club A 6 Selsey Club B 5.

Sussex Super League

Littlehampton beat a very strong Brighton side 7-2 in their third game of the season.

Andy Hills stepped down as team manager after three seasons and handed the job to Bognor’s Graeme Dutton and Matt Bourner replaced Adi Linfield. The Hills brothers from Midhurst both won 3-0 before Littlehampton’s Craig Stoner lost the third in a high-scoring thriller.

A 5-1 lead was restored with wins from Terry Howse (3-0), Matt Bourner (3-2) and a man-of-the-match performance from James Stephenson (3-1) with a 25.64 average.

Bognor’s Mick Rowland hit ten tons and a 141 finish, but was unable to secure the final leg. Cliff Prior (3-2) and Gary Blackwood (3-0) ran out winners to give Littlehampton a 7-2 victory and the bonus points.

Results: Littlehampton A 7 Brighton 2; Lancing Empire 7 Broadbridge Heath 2; Worthing 8 Littlehampton Locals 1; Mid Sussex 6 Lancing Whippets 3:

COUNTY SCENE

Sussex 22 Pembrokeshire 14

Sussex with a 10-8 lead at the halfway point after the ladies’ B team drew 3-3 and the men’s B won 7-5. On Sunday the women’s A side drew 3-3, the men’s A team won 9-3.