Banbridge ASC push a strong Bangor team but are edged out in Aquasprint

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Banbridge ASC took on Bangor in an Aquasprint Gala on Saturday 20th January but came up just short in a thrilling encounter.

A coach load of swimmers, parents and coaches headed off to Bangor Aurora Complex, a fabulous venue and a perfect place to compete and spectate.

This was the second competition for Banbridge Amateur Swimming Club and the swimmers were ready and determined to do their best.

The Group A girls and boys medley relay team started the competition with Thomas Evans in backstroke, followed by Lauren Burns-Atkins in breaststroke, Katie McFarlane doing butterfly and Noah Breen in frontcrawl.

The Group A girls included Katie and Lauren along with Alexandra King, Tara Kennedy, Aine McGrady and Maya Forsythe. Katie is a talented swimmer in every stroke and came a close second to the Bangor swimmer.

Lauren came fourth in breaststroke and sixth in frontcrawl. Tara was fourth in backstroke and sixth in breaststroke. Alexandra was fourth in frontcrawl while Maya was sixth in fly and Aine was sixth in backstroke.

The Group A boys pushed hard in competing with the Bangor boys. The Bann boys included Noah Breen, Ben Wilson, Thomas Evans, Cathal Hill and Dylan Wilson.

Noah was third in breaststroke, fly and frontcrawl and fifth in backstroke. Cathal was fourth in breaststroke, fly and frontcrawl. Dylan was third in breaststroke.

Thomas was fourth in backstroke and sixth in frontcrawl while Ben was fifth in fly and sixth in breaststroke. They all swam well, especially since most of them are new to this level of competition.

The Group B girls were a competitive fivesome in Ciara Daly, Alana Burns-Atkin, Holly McKibben, Megan Williams and Emma Irvine.

For all the size of Ciara, she certainly knows how to push the limits. She was second in backstroke, fly and frontcrawl and third in breaststroke. Alana was fourth in backstroke and frontcrawl and sixth in fly. Megan was fourth in breaststroke and sixth in backstroke and frontcrawl. Holly swam a good second in breaststroke and fourth in fly.

The Group B boys were also a group of five swimmers including Bailey Breen, Pearse Rice, Caelan McCracken, Orrin Miskimmons and James McMullen.

Bailey pulled off an excellent first place in frontcrawl as well as second in breaststroke and third in backstroke and fly.

Pearse was third in breaststroke and frontcrawl and fourth in backstroke and fly. Caelan was fourth in breaststroke and James was fifth in frontcrawl. Orrin was sixth in backstroke and fly.

The Group C girls were led by Jodie McMullen who came second in every event. Sarah McEvoy was fourth in backstroke and breaststroke, fifth in frontcrawl and sixth in fly.

Ellie Bingham was fourth in fly and fifth in backstroke. Niamh McGeown was fourth in frontcrawl and Dia McCrory was sixth in breaststroke.

The Group C boys were led by Ronan Quinn who was fourth in backstroke and second in breaststroke, fly and frontcrawl.

Issac Forsythe was third in every event. Jack Dougan was fourth in fly, fifth in frontcrawl and sixth in breaststroke. Peter McGrath was sixth in backstroke while Christopher Mahood helped out in the relays.

The Group D girls were a force to be reckoned with, as leader Rachel Blemmings excelled in every event, winning them all.

Rachel is also the Aquasprint girls’ team captain. Jenny Morrow was in good shape and achieved second position in breaststroke, fourth in fly and fifth in frontcrawl.

Clodagh McGrady brought home a third place finish while Sorcha Boersma was second in frontcrawl, fifth in backstroke and fifth in breaststroke and fly.

The Group D relay teams won both the medley relay and the freestyle relay.

Rachel Blemmings was in both, as were Niall McGeown and Peter Bigley. Jennifer Morrow made up the fourth member of the medley relay and Sorcha Boersma, the freestyle relay.

The Group D boys were led by team captain Niall McGeown. His team-mates were Peter Bigley, Finlay Wright, Taylor Hill, Lawson Morrow, Tom King and Matthew McKee.

Finlay won the backstroke in a smashing time, Taylor swam an excellent breaststroke and Peter took first place in fly and frontcrawl. Finlay was also fourth in frontcrawl.

Taylor was also fourth in backstroke and fly as Peter was also second in backstroke and breaststroke. Niall was second in fly and third in frontcrawl while Lawson was sixth in breaststroke.

All in all, Banbridge Amateur Swimming Club fought hard against some stiff competition.

Compared to the previous week’s gala against Ards, where they lost out by 68 points, Banbridge are closing the gap. It was less this time, with a difference of 40 points.

The club sent thanks to their coaches Geraldine, Patrick, Deborah, Lee, Jenny, Jodi and Ross. They also thanked Rodney for helping to do the tough job of finish judge.

Bann’s timekeepers were Andrew McFarlane, Jennifer Hill, Stephanie Brown, Mark Wilson, Martin Daly and Lauren Burns-Atkins’ dad! Jackie Wright worked hard on the recording desk.

For further information, visit their website at or follow on Twitter @BanbridgeASC.