It’s not over until Dolphin sing

Event: Southern Junior League 2013 Round 1 Venue: Link Centre, Swindon Date: 13th April 2013

The first round of this year’s Southern Junior league took place this weekend with a favourable home turf draw for Swindon Dolphin at the Link Centre.  The competition pits teams against each other from across the south west over three 49 event rounds with the league winner going forward to the Southern area final in October and the winner of this competition earning a place at the coveted Junior Inter-League National final in November.  It also provides the 9 to 12 year old competitors valuable race experience particularly for those that will go on to compete in some of the larger team competitions such as the National Arena League.

Dolphin were up against familiar local county rivals including Trowbridge looking to be the main threat on the night.  As expected, the meet played to a capacity crowd who were treated to some close fought battles and an eleventh hour win for Dolphin.

On cumulative points totals, Trowbridge maintained a slender lead over Dolphin from the first race up to event 16 when a fine 50m butterfly display by William Davies put Dolphin into the lead for the first time by just two points.  Victory in the next four events were shared between Trowbridge and Bradford-on-Avon which lost Dolphin the lead, although a win by Sophie Bartlett followed that bought Dolphin back to level.  A subsequent good run of first places by Trowbridge saw them regain the lead and then extend the margin to 10 points by event 28.  Dolphin however appeared to save their best until last and with ten of their sixteen wins on the night coming after this point, what appeared to be an unassailable margin was gradually eroded.  Pulling back to level with just five events remaining, wins in the last 3 events of the night secured an emphatic and noisy victory.

Individual winners on the night for Dolphin were Henry Pearce (2), Olivia Flack (2), Sophie Bartlett (2), Franklyn Wong (2) and William Davies.  There were relay wins for the girls 9 years medley relay team (Libbi Crouch, Ola Tylutka, Bea George, Erin Henly), girls 11 years freestyle and medley team (Sophie Bartlett, Lucie Wells, Denice Gardo, Olivia Flack), girls 12 years freestyle and medley team (Millie Jeans, Hannah Brown, Georgia Dicks, Annie Ward), boys 12 years freestyle team (Joshua Fox, Franklyn Wong, Aaron Knight, William Davies), mixed freestyle team (Bea George, Henry Pearce, Alice Lockey, Leo Ng, Olivia Flack, Franklyn Wong, Millie Jeans, William Davies).

The win puts Dolphin as one of the top scoring teams in the league table along with last years overall winners Swim Bournemouth A; one of the teams they will meet in the next round at Horfield on 11th May.

First Round Points: Swindon Dolphin 237, Trowbridge 229, Bradford-on-Avon 183, Swindon Swim Squad B 131, Wells and Shepton Mallett 124, Corsham 98

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