Sussex finally put the heartbreak of three near misses behind them when they claimed an impressive victory at the 2021 English Senior Men’s County Finals. Knowing that a final day win against Dorset would guarantee them their first title, Sussex recorded an emphatic 6.5-1.5 triumph.
That result sparked joyous celebrations that have been four years in the making for Rick Thomas and many of his team. For three consecutive years from 2017, Sussex were the bridesmaids in this event.
On two of those occasions they had the trophy ripped from their grasp right at the death by some inspired play from Yorkshire and Lancashire. This time around they made no mistake and ended the week as deserved champions with wins against Warwickshire and Dorset and a halved match with Yorkshire allowing them to finish the series undefeated.
Warwickshire finished in runner up position ahead of defending champions Yorkshire and Dorset.
For captain Thomas, the victory was special and sweet for so many from the county who have worked titrelessly behind the scenes and had to endure some crushing disappointments along the way
“I’m exhausted…it’s taken four years to get here,” confirmed the Sussex skipper after sealing the win at Grange Park Golf Club in St Helens.“These guys have deserved it for the last four years and now they’ve actually done it.
“It’s sweet, but not for me…it’s for these guys who have worked so hard to do it.“It’s been taken from their grasp on three occasions and it’s great credit to them and I’m very proud of them.
“We’ve not done this before – our name’s not on the trophy yet, but it will be now and hopefully it will stay on there in years to come.”