Saturday 23rd of September saw the team from Newry and Mourne swimming club led by captains Caoimhe Connell and Sean Mc Kevitt, head to Downpatrick to take on Lecale in the opening gala of the 2017 / 2018 season. Back in training after a hugely successful summer which saw John Moan take 2 gold medals, Ben Rafferty take a gold and a silver medal and the boys U15 relay team take the bronze medal in the Irish Division 2 championships, the Newry team were aiming to start as they meant to go on.
As always proceedings began with the medley relays and straight away Newry showed their strength by claiming 7 out of the 8 up for grabs. Point after point were clocked up in Newry’s favour as they edged farther ahead throughout the individual events. Entering into the final round of relays Newry were in fine form and again claimed 7 out of the 8. The final result confirmed Newry winners by 622 points to Lecale’s 522.
A superb start to the season and an outstanding display of teamwork by the club. Exceptional swims were on display from Alexander Marfunin who won 4 events, Darragh Quinn who won 3 and came 2nd in 1, Maeve O’ Hare and Stephanie Hart both won 2 and came 2nd in 3 others while boys captain Sean Mc Kevitt won 2 and came 2nd in 2. Shona Mc Keever, Carly Mc Cartney, Naoise Carroll, Ciara Malcolm and Shea Rafferty also won events for their team.
This fantastic opening gala will further strengthen the team spirit that drives the positive results constantly achieved by this team of motivated youngsters. Thanks as always has to go to the staff of Newry Leisure Centre, parents, volunteer coaches and head coach Paul Rogers who give their time so willingly.