Falcon swoop to conquer on night of noise, laughs and mystery

MYSTERY MARVELS -- captains Sophie Melvin and Sam Murden hold the cup won by Falcon, cheered on by their teammates.
MYSTERY MARVELS -- captains Sophie Melvin and Sam Murden hold the cup won by Falcon, cheered on by their teammates.

A night of mystery certainly suited HUCKNALL FALCON SWIMMING CLUB when a gala with a difference proved popular at the Hucknall Leisure Centre pool last Saturday.

The Gladys Hull Cup was a trophy gala hosted by Arnold Swimming Club. But as well as orthodox contests, there were many ‘mystery races’, whereby the swimmers weren’t told which stroke they’d be doing until they were on the blocks!

The strokes were pulled out of a bag at the last minute by the gala organisers, which meant some competitors got ones they definitely didn’t want but others got ones they’d crossed their fingers for!

It all resulted in lots of noise, laughter and oohs and aahs -- but mainly terrific fun.

Trophies were awarded to all six participating teams, with Falcon finishing an excellrnt second, courtesy of 14 wins, 11 second places and countless personal-best (PB) times.

Commented head coach Ian Melvin: “It was a really good night. There were loads of PBs, even though the ‘mystery races’ made the swimmers think outside the box.

“It took a while for our first win, but then they kept on coming. Thanks to all who went to help and support. It was a very loud gala, but brilliant!”

Nine of Falcon’s victories were achieved with PBs. These were spearheaded by a double from junior boys’ captain Sam Murden, who won the 15-and-under 50m backstroke and 50m breaststroke.

Maje Felten won the 15-and-under girls’ 50m backstroke, Emma Hutson the 13-and-under girls’ 50m backstroke and Sophie Hutson the 11-and-under girls’ 50m butterfly.

Also victorious in the individual events were Grace Manson in the nine-and-under girls’ 25m backstroke and Dylan Walker in the nine-and-under boys’ 25m backstroke.

While two mystery relay teams also struck gold -- Bradley Gregory, Charlie Stenson, Finley Ellis and Dylan Walker in what turned out to be the 4X25m freestyle and Sam Murden, Archie Penlington, Kyle Raison and Nathaniel Wood in what turned out to be the 4X25m boys’ backstroke.

Other Falcon swimmers to come home in first place were: Ben Canavan-Taylor (boys’ open 50m backstroke), Sophie Hutson (11-and-under girls’ 50m backstroke), Elise Connor (13-and-under girls’ 50m breaststroke), Kyle Raison (15-and-under boys’ 50m butterfly) and Nathaniel Wood (13-and-under boys’ 50m butterfly).

Of the 11 runners-up spots gained, five coincided with PBs, including Archie Penlington in the 15-and-under boys’ individual mystery (breaststroke), Evie Allsop in the nine-and-under girls’ 25m breaststroke and Harvey Green in the 13-and-under boys’ 50m breaststroke.

The other two were in the mixed open 20X25m cannon relay and the 15-and-under girls’ 4X25m mystery relay (freestyle), achieved by junior girls’ captain Sophie Melvin, Maje Felten, Emma Hutson and Elise Connor.

The remaining six second places were gained by James Terry (boys’ open 50m breaststroke), Charlie Stenson (nine-and-under boys’ 25m breaststroke), Ben Canavan-Taylor (boys’ open 50m butterfly), Holly Bramwell-Ward (nine-and-under girls’ 25m individual mystery (freestyle), Sophie Melvin (15-and-under girls’ 50m breaststroke) and the girls’ open 4X25m mystery relay (freestyle) team of Chloe Melvin, Elise Connor, Sophie Melvin and Maje Felten.

Other individual PBs were clocked by: Lianna Townsend (13-and-under girls’ 50m individual mystery (backstroke), Bradley Gregory (nine-and-under boys’ 25m butterfly), Maje Felten (15-and-under girls’ individual mystery (butterfly), Ryan Sanders (11-and-under boys’ 50m butterfly), Lauren Straw (girls’ open 50m individual mystery (freestyle) and Callum Townsend (boys’ open 50m individual mystery (butterfly).

Relay PBs were also registered by: Charlie Stenson, Dylan Hopkinson, Rebecca Fitch, Adam Webber, Lianna Townsend, Emma Hutson, Grace Manson, Holly Bramwell-Ward, Grace Allsop, Sophie Hutson, Ryan Sanders, Dylan Hopkinson, Max Boag and Benjamin Davies.

RESULT -- Sutton 247 points, FALCON 219, Kimberley 201, Arnold Gold 200, Nottingham Northern 135, Arnold Blue 85.