Eleventh Hour Victory in Southern Junior League

Event: Southern Junior League Round 1 Venue: Horfield Date: 24th April 2010

Mid April sees the start of the Junior League season, commencing with the three local rounds of the Southern Junior League; the overall victor going forward to the Southern region final in October and the winner of this event gaining a place at the Junior Inter-League National final in November.

A Dolphin team of twenty eight 9 to 12 year olds set out on the first stage of the contest with the first round of local competition at Horfield, Bristol.  Of the other competing teams, the combined club squads of Severnside Tritons and Swindon Swim Squad looked most likely to provide Dolphin with any stiff competition, but could any of the other five clubs present a significant challenge?

It seemed they possibly could, as Bradford-on-Avon stepped up to the mark to win the first two events with Dolphin only managing second and sixth.  The shaky start for Dolphin continued throughout the first block of relays, only taking one win from 8 races courtesy of Conor McGilligan, James Chantler-Mayne, James Watson and Ben Sarachi in the boys 10 years medley relay.

Fortunes appeared to turn in the first of the individual swims as Katy Coleman took the girls 9 years freestyle and further individual wins from Abbie Hawkins (girls 11 years backstroke), Georgia Dicks (girls 9 years breaststroke), James Watson (boys 10 years butterfly) and Joanna Farley (girls 11 years freestyle) kept Dolphin in the running.  This was however, no match for Bradford-on-Avon who touched home first on ten occasions, although better lower places and no disqualifications ensured a higher overall points tally for Dolphin.

Despite also having less wins than Bradford, Swindon Swim Squad kept their hopes alive with a high number of runner up spots and led the contest up to event 28 when the win by James Watson brought Dolphin level with them on 169 points each.  A strong run by Dolphin including another relay win by the 10 year old boys pushed them in front and despite losing the lead briefly to Bradford-on-Avon, finished in style by winning the last cannon event and the overall contest by a slender five point margin.

Final Points: Swindon Dolphin 296, Swindon Swim Squad 291, Bradford-on-Avon 285, Severnside Tritons 235, Soundwell 212, Chard 208, Jurrasic 154, North Dorset Turbos 61

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