Sussex had to settle for a share of the spoils when they went to Buckinghamshire for their opening match of the 2011-2012 inter-county season.
Following relegation last season to division three, Sussex were determined to get off to a good start but were up against a county tough to beat on their own boards.
Sussex’s ladies’ B team drew 3-3 and further close matches followed in the men’s B team, so at the halfway stage of the weekend it was 9-9.
Sunday was equally difficult for both teams and also finished 9-9, meaning Sussex sharing the points and bonus points with their long-time rivals.
There was a mixed start for local players. Terry Howse, making his debut for Sussex, ended a nervous opener with a 3-2 win and a commendable 22.77 average, while Gary Blackwood, dropping to the B squad because of other commitments on the Sunday, was unable to reproduce recent good form and lost 3-0.
On Sunday Chichester’s Hayley Gatford lost 3-2 in a close ladies’ A match and Midhurst’s Jason Hills, in the men’s A, levelled the overall match at 7-7 when he won 3-1.
Sussex Super League
The league starts this week, with Observer-area players again playing for Littlehampton at the Coco Lounge.
In a pre-season friendly they beat the Littlehampton Local team 7-2.
Their first match is at home to Roffey Royals, in which Littlehampton A field new signings Mick Rowland and Cliff Prior from Bognor.
Bognor Friday Night League
The penultimate week of the season saw narrow wins for the top teams.
In division one The Ship managed a one-point win over third-placed Royal Oak. In division two, third-placed Richmond C served a blow to second-placed Friary D’s title hopes by beating them.
In division three, Chichester Snooker Club continued their winning run by narrowly beating Newtown B, whilw third-placed BRSA B recovered from a defeat to beat the other Newtown team.
Results: Div 1: Royal Oak B 8 Ship 9. Div 2: Richmond C 12 Friary D 7. Div 3: BRSA B 14 Newtown SC A 4; Newtown SC B 6 Chichester Snooker Club A 9. MoM: Joe Osman.
Bognor Star Darts
The Wheatsheaf ran out comfortable 13-1 winners at home to the Snooker Club and won the Captains’ Cup, keeping Jason Hills head of the pack.
Hunston continued their good form with an 8-6 victory over a strong Eastgate side, with Adi Linfield winning his captains’ match to keep the pressure on in second.
Third-placed Claremont A enjoyed a 12-2 victory over The Railway, but Mick Rowland lost his captains’ match and is out of the race.
The annual tournament in aid of Jamie’s Wish was held at the Linden Park Scout Hall, attracting a good turnout.
Winner was Chichester’s Keith Robinson. In a close final, he produced an array of top-class darts to beat Sussex county player Gary Blackwood. Semi-finalists were Craig Stoner and Mark Walker.