Retford swimmers finish league’s runners-up after final round win on their home ‘soil’

Retford Dolphins
Retford Dolphins

Retford Swimming Club ended the 2013 Notts Sports Centre League on a high last weekend, securing the runners-up spot behind champions Sherwood.

In a thrilling and highly competitive final round against clubs from Mansfield, Newark, Worksop, Sherwood, Calverton and Bingham, the strong Retford team excelled.

Competing on home ground at Retford Leisure centre there were many outstanding swims, with 15-year-old Tom Atkinson winning six out of his eight events.

Sherwood had already done enough to secure the Division One trophy.

However, the battle was on for second place between Worksop and Retford.

Retford would have to win the round in order to secure overall second place- a tough task against a dominant Sherwood team who had won each of the previous five rounds.

The evening got off to a perfect start with wins in the first two races, the 15/u 100m IMs from Atkinson in the boys and 13-year-old Finleigh Dukes, competing in the higher age group for the girls.

The wins then came thick and fast – three more from Atkinson in impressive style in the 15/u 50m Butterfly, Open 100m Butterfly and 15/u 100m Breaststroke.

Dukes claimed her second in the 13/u 50m Butterfly and the 9/u years team of Jacob Clements, Mia Kay, Callum Kettlewell and Abigail Grieves won the freestyle relay, Grieves swimming a particularly strong last leg.

Emma Davies increased Retford’s chances with a win in the 13/u 100m Breaststroke.

As the halfway points were announced it was clear that the Retford squad were on fine form and ahead of the competition with 109 points.

The second half began like the first with wins in the first two events – the 9/u 100m Mixed Stroke relay (Callum Kettlewell, Ashleigh Woodcock, Matthew Pavier and Mia Kay) and Atkinson in the 15/u 100m Backstroke.

Davies took two more, the 13/u 100m IM and the 13/u 100m Freestyle and there were further wins from 15-year-old Asha-Jo Anthony in the Open 100m Backstroke and Atkinson in the 15/u 100m Freestyle.

In the 45-event gala Retford had shown class and fight in every race with the team taking 38 top three finishes.

After a nervous wait the final scores were announced in reverse order: CABsc 103 points; Mansfield 108 points; Newark 113 points; Worksop 194 points; Sherwood 209 points and Retford 210 points.