BANBRIDGE swimmers took to the block on Saturday 28th January with grim determination.
Larne P.T.L. team is very strong and has many champion swimmers on board. Banbridge has come a long way in recent years with a huge jump from Third Division up to First Division. As a result this small provincial town now has to compete with long standing clubs like Larne and Templemore.
However, Banbridge made a tremendous effort and achieved some excellent individual victories.
The group A girls, Lauren Armstrong, Jessica Robinson, Sophie Mount and Caitlin Kearney set the ball rolling with a superb win,the medley relay, the first of the night. The group A boys followed suit and Harry Dougan, William Pinkerton, Harry Farson and Daniel Kilpatrick produced another fabulous win in the medley relay.
Group B girls found it more difficult to win and Olivia Knox, Ellie Purdy, Abbie McCullagh and Ellie Robinson had to settle for second. The points for the relays are vital. Group B boys were well aware of this and Patrick McNiff, Michael Rafferty, Joel Milligan and Caolan Quinn swam for their lives. It was a very exciting relay as Caolan Quinn pulled his team from second into first place, overtaking Conor Fergusion into the bargain. These four lads certainly know what teamwork is all about. Well done!
The relays continued but Larne has a tremendous senior group of swimmers and they won the rest of the relays. The swimmers involved, however, deserve a mention. Group C girls were Jenny Wilson, Allyce Nixon, Megan McKenna and Poppy Robinson. The Group C boys were Ross Johnston, Declan Loy, Scott Donnelly and Nicholas Reid. The Group D girls were Heather Wilson, Lauren Robinson, Jane Kilpatrick and Emer Doyle. The Group D boys were Daniel Chambers, Graham Stevenson, Patrick Morgan and Cameron McDonald.
The next event was backstroke. Group A girls, Lauren Armstrong, Caitlin Kearney and Rebecca Pinkerton took to the water with a third, fourth and sixth place respectively. Group A boys, Rory McNiff, Harry Dougan and Harry Farson came in second, third and fifth. Well done!
Group B girls, Abbie McCullagh,Olivia Knox and Ellie Purdy achieved third,fourth and sixth places in 5om backstroke. Group B boys,Patrick McNiff, Joel Milligan and Ross Johnston came in third, fourth and fifth place.
Group C girls,Jenny Wilson, Megan McKenna and Poppy Robinson achieved another third, fourth andfifth place. Group C boys stretched it a little more and Scott Donnelly managed a second followed by Declan Loy in fourth and Nicholas Reid in fifth.
Group D girls, Jane Kilpatrick, Heather Wilson and Ellen Woods achieved fourth, fifth and sixth places.
Group D boys, Patrick Morgan, Daniel Chambers and Conor Morgan again for the boys, stretched it to second, fourth and fifth place.
Next, the 50m breaststroke. The Group A girls took off like a bat out hell with Jessica Robinson leading the way. She was followed by Caitlin Kearney in third and Rebecca Pinkerton in fourth.
Group A boys were also strong with William Pinkerton taking first, followed closely by Daniel Kilpatrick and Patrick Doyle in fifth.
Group B girls, Abbie McCullagh, Olivia Knox and Emma McElderry came in fourth, fifth and sixth.
Group B boys, Patrick McNiff, Michael Rafferty and Eunan Quinn came in second, fourth and fifth.
Group C girls, Allyce Nixon, Jane Kilpatrick and Lauren Robinson managed third, fourth and sixth.
Group C boys, made a tremendous effort and it paid off as Scott Donnelly swam a superb first place, followed closely by Declan Loy and Ryan Porter in fifth position.
Group D girls, Emer Doyle, Hannah Dunbar and Heather Wilson came in 3rd, 4th and 6th.
Group D boys stepped it up with a 2nd, 3rd and 5th place from Cameron Mc Donald, Daniel Chambers and Graham Stevenson.
Moving on next to 50m butterfly, the Group A girls took to the blocks again. Their effort paid off as young Julia Knox came in second place and Sophie Mount and Rebecca Pinkerton brought in third and fifth.
Group A boy, Harry Farson, swam a fabulous time, coming in 1st position. His team mates, Harry Dougan and Rory McNiff also did their best to bring in 3rd and 6th.
Group B girls, Abbie McCullagh, Olivia Knox and Elli Robinson swam in second, fourth and sixth place.
Group B boys, Joel Milligan, Caolan Quinn and Alex Donnelly, achieved second, fourth and sixth.
Group C girls, made a special effort and Megan Mc Kenna swam a wonderful 1st place followed extremely closely by Jenny Wilson in second and in fifth by Poppy Robinson.
Group C boys, Scott Donnelly, Declan Loy and Nicholas Reid swam in second, fifth and sixth place.
Group D girls, Jane Kilpatrick, Heather Wilson and Hannah Dunbar swam in fourth, fifth and sixth position.
Group D boys, Patrick Morgan, Daniel Chambers and Cameron McDonald brought in third, fourth and fifth places.
Now for the front crawl.
Lauren Armstrong, began the frontcrawl with a tremendous time and technique bringing her a suberb win. Her team mates Caitlin Kearney and Rebecca Pinkerton followed with a fourth and fifth place.
Harry Farson, continued the trend of a fabulous first place and his Group A team mates, Daniel Kilpatrick and Conor Woods swam in third and fourth place.
Group B girls, Abbie McCullagh, Elli Robinson and Olivia Knox swam in third, fourth and sixth positions.
Group B boys were lead by Caolan Quinn who swam an admirable 3rd, against a very strong team with British champions in this age group. Patrick McNiff and Michael Rafferty also kept up the side by coming in fourth and fifth.
Group C girls, Megan McKenna, Jenny Wilson and Emer Doyle strived to achieve third, fourth and sixth.
Group C boys, Scott Donnelly ( fabulous swimming from this lad all night), Declan Loy and Nicholas Reid , swam in second, fourth and fifth.
Group D girls, Heather Wilson, Ellen Woods and Hannah Dunbar did their best to achieve fourth, fifth and sixth.
Group D boys, Graham Stevenson, Cameron McDonald and Patrick Morgan brought in third, fourth and fifth position.
Event 41, the Individual Medley, saw Julia Knox, Sophie Mount and Rebecca Pinkerton take in second, fourth and fifth place. The Group A boys, in their turn saw Harry Farson take another first and William Pinkerton and Daniel Kilpatrick, third and fourth.
Group B girls, Abbie Mc Cullagh, Ellie Purdy and Emma McElderry bring in fourth, fifth and sixth place.
Group B boys, Patrick McNiff, Joel Milligan and Alex Donnelly, swam a great second, third and fifth place.
Group C girls, Jenny Wilson, Allyce Nixon and Emer Doylewere strong in second, third and fourth place.
Group C boys, Scott Donnelly, Declan Loy and Nicholas Reid, swam well in second, fourth and fifth.
Group D girls, Lauren Robinson, Heather Wilson and Hannah Dunbar, brought in fourth, fifth and sixth.
Group D boys, Cameron McDonald, Daniel Chambers and Graham Stevenson, finished off the individual races with a third, fourth and fifth position.
The final events of the night, events 53 to 56 were the freestyle relays.
The Group A girls, made their final exciting impact of the night by coming in first place. Well done to Julia Knox, Caitlin Kearney, Rebecca Pinkerton and Lauren Armstrong for a wonderful relay.
The Group A boys, certainly did not fade into the background. They too had a superb swim and these swimmers were, Daniel Kilpatrick, William, Harry Dougan and Harry Farson.
Group B girls managed 2nd place but the Group B boys pulled off a truly exciting race. They were neck in neck for most of the race and then Caolan Quinn surged ahead with amazing enery to lead his team to victory. The fabulous team spirit of this group of lads is tremendous. Well done to Michael Rafferty, Joel Milligan, Patrick McNiff and Caolan Quinn.
Group C and D girls and boys, didn’t manage any more wins in the freestyle relays but they kept their dignity against a very powerful team.
When both teams retired to the tea room afterwards, Larne were delighted by the wonderful cake supplied by Graham Stevenson’s family. They appreciated the wonderful sporting spirit of the Banbridge side and the hospitality that they always receive in our galas.
The next PTL gala is home to Templemore on Saturday 18th February.
For further information on Banbridge Amateur Swimming Club, visit the club’s website on www.banbridgeasc.co.uk