It’s all to play for in the Ashes (the Southern Water version, that is...)

The youngsters enjoy the Southern Water Ashes final at Hove
The youngsters enjoy the Southern Water Ashes final at Hove

The Southern Water Ashes reached its grand finale at Sussex CCC’s County Ground as winners from two months of schools’ competition descended for an Ashes showdown.

Over five weeks, the Ashes roadshow has visited nine schools across Sussex, running four simple, cricket-based activity stations for students in Years 7 and 8.

Each player’s aim was to build up as many points as possible in their quest to be one of the top five scorers at their school. This earned a ‘golden ticket’ invitation to compete against other winners for the right to take home the Ashes urn.

The standard was high across schools. Cricketers and non-cricketers gave it a go, meaning high scores were needed in order to earn their place at the Farnrise Indoor School, Hove.

Snow and icy weather caused the final to be put back a week, but it was worth the wait. The players competed across nine cricket activities, building up points in an attempt to win fabulous Sussex CCC prizes and hopefully finish first in order take the coveted urn back to their school.

After two-and-a-half hours of loud and exciting competition, Sussex left-arm seamer Chris Liddle and Southern Water representatives announced the results.

All the participants went to collect a Sussex CCC water bottle and ball before the top five were announced.

Tom Haynes of the Tanbridge House School in Horsham came out triumphant with an impressive 159 points, winning himself a Sussex CCC goodie bag containing a T20 shirt, junior membership for the 2011 season lots of Sharks’ merchandise.

Just four points further back was Ellis Anastasiades from Longhill School. But after six weeks of tough competition and with over 550 children taking part, the Southern Water Ashes went to Tanbridge House School.

Southern Water were thanked for their support and its success means it is hoped it will run again next year.

Phil Tapping, Southern Water’s Area Manager for Sussex, said: “Well done to everyone who made it to the final and who took part in the workshops. There was a real competitive spirit at the schools as the children worked hard to get their golden ticket to the final. The final results were close, with all of the children making a real effort, while having a lot of fun, on the day.”