Nigel Eckersley has won the Southern Open Veterans' title.

The 52-year-old came through a strong field at Bournemouth to beat Dorset ace Tony Clayton in the final 11-5, 10-12, 11-9, 11-8.

Eckesley, from Uckfield, currently No.3 veteran on the England list, could get the No.1 position following this performance after also beating Cheshire veteran Mike Johns 11-7, 11-8, 11-2 in the quarter-finals.

Eckersley's reputation as a battler is growing on the Grand Prix circuit and for Horsham in the British League.

Rapid Horsham's young star Dominic Hall, who is still making rapid strides, cut down a batch of opponents before losing to Kent rival Stephen Beerling.

Sussex had three women players at Bournemouth.

Rose Rainton survived to the fourth round of the women's singles before losing to second seed Kubrat Owolabi, the former champion of Africa.

Sheila King was beaten by the Indian player from Middlesex Aparna Narendran, while a newcomer to the Sussex scene, Gail Davey, made a promising start to her comeback career and could be a strong contender for the Sussex Veterans' first team when she qualifies next season.

Rainton and King also had a promising run in the women's doubles but were stopped at the semi-final stage by top seeds Nicola Deaton and Kubrat Owolabi.

Former Commonwealth and England doubles champion Nicky Mason (Eastbourne) is set for a comeback, but only as a coach on a summer course in June at Potters Leisure resort at Great Yarmouth.