Uplands are on the up
Uplands set off on a lap of honour at Grace Road after being crowned Year Six Mixed National Kwik Cricket Champions.
The jubilant youngsters received the large trophy from Worcestershire and England batsman Vikram Solanki before charging off in celebration.
"My heart is still going now," said Head of Year Six at Uplands, David Page, after watching his side win a thrilling final. "It was very close and came down to the last over. Luckily we took a few wickets. It was a real team effort.
"It's fantastic. It's the end of a long summer of in-school coaching. They have won through several tournaments to get this far and this is the end of a fantastic summer for them."
The Berkshire school triumphed in a thrilling climax to the tournament at Leicestershire's home ground, eventually beating St Michael's by 16 runs.
Batting first, Uplands posted 241 - teams start on 200 but lose five runs for every dismissal - although it might have been a higher total were it not for some wonderful fielding and some bad luck.
One Uplands batsman was caught short of his ground when a brilliant throw from the boundary hit the stumps. Another batter was left cursing his luck when, having pulled a ball for a huge six, he swivelled round and made a mess of his own stumps with his bat.
In reply, St Michael's, who won the South West regional finals, clawed their way steadily towards the victory mark but disaster struck in the last over with 11 needed to win.
A suicidal single resulted in a run out and their dream ended when the Uplands skipper, one of the competition's best fielders, took a fine catch in the deep.
"The standard of cricket today has been fantastic along with the sportsmanship," added Page.
Abbey, from the Midlands, and William Ransom, from the East region, were the two losing semi-finalists.
Kwik Cricket background info:
This year over 90,000 boys and 40,000 girls in 13,000 teams took part in the ASDA Kwik Cricket Competition making it one of the largest school sporting competitions in the UK
Kwik Cricket is the ECB’s flagship Grassroots competition and has been going from strength to strength. This year participation has risen by 23 per cent thanks in no small part to a huge boost in the Girls Competition which doubled in size this year, concluding with its inaugural National Final on Tuesday at Kibworth CC
2008 is Kwik Cricket’s 20th year and it would be true to say that most current England player’s first experience of cricket was with the now iconic blue bat and orange ball
The Competition is supported by ASDA. Local ASDA stores have teamed up with organisers of local festivals and have supplied drinking water and healthy snacks and fruit at many of these festivals to encourage Healthy Eating amongst the children taking part
Kwik Cricket demonstrations took place at each of the npower Test Matches this summer; children from local schools played the game on the outfield in their green ASDA T-shirts during the lunch and tea intervals