West Sussex bowlers pass Oxford examination

Peter Whale with his Observer player of the match award
Peter Whale with his Observer player of the match award

The West Sussex Premier team are in the semi-finals od the Inter County Championship after beating Oxford in a last-eight thriller.

They started slowly in their quarter-final, winning only one game in the first session and two in the second session to trail by 10-6.

In the third session the points were shared and West Sussex went into the final session needing to win three of the four games and take the bonus points in both disciplines.

In the triples, one game was won and one lost and the bonus points shared. With one of the fours having a virtually-unassailable lead the result of the match rested on the outcome of the second fours game.

Going into the last end, West Sussex were leading by two shots and with the last bowl to be bowled Oxford were holding one shot. The Oxford skip needed to draw a second counting bowl to take the match but failed and West Sussex took the game by one shot and the match by 21-19.

In the singles The Martlets’ Mel Lillywhite lost 18-8 and 20-13 while in the pairs, Midhurst’s Roger Brown lost 14-10 and won 18-12.

In the triples The Martlets’ Chris Blackman won 11-8 and 12-5 while club-mate Marc Lancaster lost 11-7 and 13-7.

In the fours the Lavant trio of Peter Winter, John Heasman and Peter Whale won 12-4 and 20-5.

The Chichester Observer player of the match was Peter Whale of Lavant.

Meanwhile, West Sussex and Kent play an annual competition for the Triples Shield, and this year was West Sussex’s turn to host.

The teams comprise mainly B team players, plus A team players to make up the 36, and West Sussex have struggled over the years with only three wins in the 15 years the competition has been held.

This year West Sussex started strongly, taking the first session 10-2 and just losing the second session to lead 15-9 at lunch. A strong performance again in the third session left them needing to win two games in the final session.

They managed three wins and a draw to finish victors by 30-22 and put the trophy in the West Sussex cabinet for the year.

Scores: Lavant’s Ray Harding won 11-7 and 9-8; Bognor’s Freddie Kaucher and Crablands’ Marie Nutt lost 16-3 and won 11-9; Lavant’s John Simms with Bognor’s Rose Jalley won 13-8 and 12-9; Crablands Les Dray won 14-6 and lost 12-10; Lavant’s Rob Peirce with The Martlets Barrie Fitch won 8-7 and lost 9-8; Bognor’s Derek Fair lost 9-8 and 10-4; Bognor’s Betty Williams, Pam Smith and Marlene Steel lost 14-6 and 14-4; Crablands Martin Hunt and Mollie Back with Lavant’s Lionel Kneale won 9-7 and 12-10; Bognor’s Eric and Brenda Jones and Brian Mills lost 16-9 and won 13-7.