Dolphin storm to winter title

From the Swindon Advertiser, first published Thursday 23rd Mar 2006.

Swindon Dolphin A swept to the Moonraker Winter League title at the Link Centre.

The league’s final showdown was billed as one of the tightest contests in recent history with Tigersharks A qualifying for the final having won all three qualifying rounds.

However, Swindon Dolphin had other ideas as they swept aside opposition teams, winning 27 from a possible 39 events, and dropping just 14 points from a possible 234.

Dolphin A started the competition in fine style with the girls’ and boys’ under 17 teams bagging maximum points in the 4 x 1 freestyle relays.

The packed Link Centre crowd had to wait until event 20 before Dolphin dropped out of the top two, with the first of only two third place finishes in the 4 x 1 backstroke squadron relay.

By this time they had already amassed a 12-point advantage and the onslaught continued with six wins on the spin, including medley wins from the girls’ and boys’ under 13 teams, who were in sparkling form all night.

There was brief respite for the opposition teams in events 27 and 28 as Dolphin’s under-15 backstroke teams slipped to second and third for the girls’ and boys’ respectively.

But this proved to be the lull before the storm as Dolphin went on an eight-run winning spree, including two stunning anchor legs from Richard Fouracre (under 17 medley) and James Clark (under 13 freestyle) snatching victory in the closing stages when all had seemed lost.

Dolphin underlined their all-round strength with the girls’ under 13 team matching their girls’ and boys’ open team counterparts with victories in all events.

The girls maintained their winning formula where the fastest swimmer in each of the four age group categories combine in the backstroke, breaststroke and butterfly squadron relays.

In the final event, the 8 x 1 mixed freestyle cannon, Dolphin romped home with half a length to spare to secure their highest winning margin for more than five years.

Result: Swindon Dolphin A 220 points, Tigersharks A 194, Trowbridge 148, Chippenham 95, Swindon Dolphin B 85, Bradford on Avon 74.

From the Swindon Advertiser http://www.swindonadvertiser.co.uk © Newsquest Media Group 2006

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