Hastings agonisingly missed out on the Sussex Winter Darts League Championship.
East Division winners Hastings were edged out 5-4 by West Division champions Worthing in a high quality final at Roffey Social Club, Horsham.
Hastings made a good start as the freescoring Mick Evans won 3-0 against Lee Gladman aided by a 123 checkout, the best finish of the evening. Pete Stoner levelled the score for Worthing in the first of the five-leg games, defeating Simon Smith 3-2.
County A team player Dave Creasey needed all his skills to come back from 2-0 down against Worthing’s Ant Morley to win 3-2 and put Hastings 2-1 up.
Worthing got back on terms again when Mick Doabe edged out Andy Derrick 3-2 in a game that featured 25 tons and then took the lead for the first time as Richard Stanford pipped Ray Tutin by the same score.
Paul Hepton’s 3-1 win against Ron Clarke made the overall score 3-3 only for Worthing’s James Greenfield to show why he topped the West Division’s averages this season by defeating Dean Watson 3-1 with a 30.47 average.
Mark Stafford continued his unbeaten record this season by sinking Paul Paice 3-1 with a 26.45 average, the best of the night for Hastings, to make it 4-4.
Experienced Hastings thrower John Ferrell led 2-1 in the closing match before opponent Andy Stanford won the fourth leg to force a deciding leg. Ferrell was down to a 64 finish after 12 darts with Stanford looking at 160, but Ferrell, the winner of two England Grand Prix events last year, missed four attempts at a double and Stanford checked out 78.
Worthing hit 67 tons and five 180s, and Hastings scored 71 tons and three maximums.