A team of junior Irish players travelled to Hove (next to Brighton) in England to play a team of Sussex juniors in a friendly match over the weekend of 12-14 April 2002. The venue was the Princes Marine Hotel on the seafront.
In all 36 players travelled, divided into five teams (9 under 10s, 8 under 12s, 7 under 14s, 7 under 16s and 5 girls (all under 14s). Sussex, with more players at their disposal, agreed to provide opposition with matching ratings as much as possible. The home team proved stronger in the higher age groups, winning the under 16s by 19.5 to 15.5, the under 14s by 17 to 15 and the under 12s by 40 to 31. However the Irish under 10s won their match 48-33 and the girls match was drawn 11-11. So the home team won on match points by 3.5 to 1.5, although by a statistical quirk (more games played by the under 10s) the final game score was 120.5 each.
Best performances came from the under 10 team with Max Drakeford and Sean McCarrick scoring 7/9 each, Jamie Flynn scoring 8/9, and Catherine Danaher from Shannon in Co Clare scoring a perfect 9/9. On the girls team Hannah Lowry O'Reilly and Lesley Fennelly scored 3.5/5 each, while Robbie Lunn was top scorer on the under 14 team with the same score. On the under 16 team Alex Lopez scored 4/5, top board Simon Jeffares scored 3.5/5, and Graeme Walsh scored 3/5.
The players enjoyed the attractions of Brighton Pier in their spare time, and at the closing ceremony each player received a prize from the Vice President of Sussex Junior Chess, the famous astronomer Sir Patrick Moore.