The Aldingbourne Trust hosted an annual open football tournament for adults with learning disabilities in the delightful surroundings of Arundel Castle Cricket Club.
The tournament has been held at Aldingbourne Country Centre since 2010 and has grown in size each year.
The centre couldn’t host the tournament this year because of site work, and John Barclay, former Sussex captain and now director of cricket at Arundel, stepped in with the offer to use the Castle ground.
The collaborative feel was enhanced by Christ’s Hospital School, whose pupils assisted the tournament by organising warm-up sessions, acting as ball boys, running the lines and refereeing.
Pagham Cricket Club’s Mandy Burgess ran a barbecue.
Ten teams from around Sussex took part and enjoyed playing. The spirit of the game was on show with many great goals and lots of fun being had.
The Strawford Centre beat the Wrenford Centre to take fourth place, with Apuldram finishing third with the help of tournament top scorer Andrew Hek.
A penalty shootout was held in which more than 100 competitors were whittled down to Lewis Pickering of Aldingbourne and Warren Tame of Out There, with the latter striking the winner.
The final was closely contested between Out There West Sussex and Aldingbourne Country Centre. Out There had chances but were repeatedly denied by the brilliance of Aldingbourne goalkeeper Robert Fox.
In the dying minutes a Christian Roberts’ corner was met by a crisp volley by Pickering to make it 1-0 and Aldingbourne held on to regain the trophy.
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