NEWRY SWIMMERS KEEP THE PRESSURE ON
Saturday 28th of January saw the swimmers from Newry and Mourne head to Letterkenny to take on the Swilly Seals in the penultimate PTL of the 2016/2017 season. Tensions were running high amongst the swimmers as Swilly Seals have a reputation for being a tough team to beat. This became evident as soon as proceedings began with the home team taking 5 out of the 8 medley relays up for grabs. Newry were going to have to work hard for this one. Moving onto the Individual events Newry drew level by the end of the back crawl but lost ground again in the breaststroke. The butterfly put Newry ahead but again Swilly Seals pulled back in the freestyle. Heading into the freestyle relays the teams were on level points, so everything was riding on the last few swims. Each team claimed 3 relays each and it was down to the younger members of the squads to decide the fate of this exciting gala. Cheered on by the entire squad, the A group girls’ team swam for their lives to put Newry ahead by 4 points. The A group boys’ team had to follow suit to ensure victory instead of a draw. Tensions were at fever pitch but the squad cheered the boys on with all their might and the team blazed to victory. The final scores declared Newry 576 and Swilly Seals 568.
Although very much a team effort some exceptional swimmers deserve a mention. Stephanie Hart won 4 of her races, Ciara Malcom won 3 and came 2nd in 2, Tara Haffey and Shea Rafferty won 3 and came 2nd in 1, Sean Mc Kevitt won 2 and came 2nd in 1, Lewis Gray won 2 and came 3rd in 1.
All in all, a very exciting, tense gala with the Newry team moving in the right direction all the time. Thanks as always has to go to the volunteer coaches led by head coach Paul Rogers, the parents who volunteer so tirelessly and the staff of Newry Leisure Centre for their constant support of these young swimmers.