Plucky HUCKNALL AND LINBY DOLPHINS faced a tough night against top opponents when they tackled the First Round of the Notts ASA Stage Two Competition at the Water Meadows complex in Mansfield last Saturday.
But they were not unduly disappointed by their display, despite finishing last in the six-team gala.
“The opening round in any competition always throws up some difficult opposition for us,” said a club spokesman.
“But we took some great positives from the night, not least the fact that each and every one of our swimmers gave 100% to every race.
“We cannot ask for any more of them, and we look forward to the next round, which should enable us to increase our points tally and our position against clubs of a similar level to ourselves.”
In fact, the final placings in Mansfield did not reflect how close Dolphins were in many races to top-flight opponents, who included Leander’s A team and also Sherwood.
And senior teammember, 17-year-old Edward Turner, was not the least bit fazed by the big guns alongside him, storming to victory in the open 50m backstroke to grab some much-needed points.
Turner also clocked two personal-best (PB) times in the 50m freestyle, where he was fourth, and in the 50m butterfly, where he finished fifth. A superb fourth spot was also achieved by 14-year-old Jack Burbanks, who showed the determination that defines his swimming in a close 14-and-under 50m backstroke.
Other highlights on the night included a posse of 11 fantastic PBs, including four from Dolphins swimmers who knocked three seconds off previous times -- ten-year-old Libby Brandham in both the 50m freestyle and 50m backstroke, eight-year-old Joseph Lilley in the 50m freestyle and in-form 11-year-old Gabe Moth in the 50m backstroke.
Best times also went to 14-year-old Hannah Brown in the 50m freestyle and 50m butterfly. Brown displayed superb team-spirit all night, swimming additional events, as did 12-year-old Ria Dennis, who also registered a PB in the 50m breaststroke, despite struggling with an ongoing injury.
Meanwhile 13-year-old Mark Turner and nine-year-old Francis Dermody added to the PBs they gained the previous week -- this time in the 50m butterfly and 50m backstroke respectively.
Special mention must go too to 14-year-old Mason Sims, who had to swim his 50m breaststroke race twice after a mix-up at the start involving his opponents.
Sims was given the option of waiting until the end for the re-run, but swam again immediately, showing the kind of commitment that has marked every gala appearance he has made for the club.
RESULT -- Leander A 245 points, Sherwood 232, Kimberley 178, Worksop 161, Mansfield A 147, HUCKNALL AND LINBY DOLPHINS 56.