If Worthing are to win the Davies and Tate Trophy for a record fifth time outright they will have to do it the hard way.

They are clear favourites for the title after eliminating holders East Sussex National 7-5 at Little Horsted.

Now they face another tough test at Willingdon in the third round on April 30.

It will be the fourth clash in five years between the two clubs. Worthing have won them all including a cliffhanger last year by 6-5.

It left Willingdon shattered and convinced Worthing have the Indian sign on them.

Team manager Eric Reekie was quick to praise Worthing's travelling supporters.

He said: "I am sure our supporters outnumbered those of East Sussex National by ten to one. This is our ninth man and gives the players a boost."

Worthing omitted 15-year-old Peter Tarver-Jones and ex-junior Alan Laverty came in.

"He is a big hitter and the space at East Sussex National suited him," said Reekie.

Former pro Scott Nightingale was again working and didn't make the line-up.

Reekie said: "With both sides so evenly matched there was never going to be much in it."

The first three foursomes went to the 18th. Scott Williams and Arwel Roberts were dormy two down to Jack Budgen and Nic Griffin (ESN) but fought back to halve. Dave Webb and Alan Laverty were another Worthing duo who had to make up a deficit to frustrate James Heard and Fraser Brown.

Reekie said: "By holding their nerve my lads managed to turn defeat in the foursomes into a 2-2 draw. That set us up for the singles."

Arwel Roberts, two up playing the par three 16th on the East Course, halved the hole against James Heard to secure victory for Worthing who won five of the matches to ESN's three.

Reekie said: "The final score was a testament to the quality of the players at Worthing. All the East Sussex National team played superb golf all day and made it hard for us to take the match to the line."

Littlehampton, last season's beaten finalists, knocked out 2003 champions Haywards Heath on countback 22-13 and next host Seaford.

A 2,-1, foursomes lead at Haywards Heath was not enough for Littlehampton to breathe easily or indulge too freely at lunch.

Their singles target of four points was not realised but holes won in the three victories and a half equalled Haywards Heath's total of six.

That was enough to go through 22-13 on countback.

The crucial Littlehampton win was by Gary Fisher with a 2 & 1 triumph over Jack Edmonds.

Also important was Daryl Minton's 6 & 4 victory against Nigel Curtis. Hefty foursomes wins by Fisher with Steve Graham and Hiddy Jahan with Minton helped tip the scales.

"We are looking a solid team," said manager Howard Chipperfield. "It helped having an order of merit competition in the winter and the Davies and Tate team was selected out of the top 12."