Sherwood Colliery - Round Two 2014

Following on from a solid Round 1 performance & a trip down the A1 to Biggleswade, the black & gold colours of the merry men & women from Sherwood Colliery were hoping for somewhere slightly more local; with local rivals Chesterfield SC in the draw, fingers & toes were crossed.

So, with the draw pulling out a trip down the M1 to Milton Keynes, the coach was booked and once again the black & gold army headed off with (I suspect) the Chesterfield SC coach either just in front or not far behind.

With teams from Northampton A (who we drew in the first round) & City of Milton Keynes, it was always going to be a tough one.  Throw in Chesterfield, South Lincs Comp & West Norfolk for good measure and the squad knew they were going to have to be at the top of their game.

In the bright and airy 8-lane pool at Bletchley, the squad didn’t disappoint.  Consistent performances all evening saw us pull ahead of South Lincs & West Norfolk from the first points tally, and a strong Chesterfield squad seemed to be within our sights.

Our National Age Group Champion, Lily Boseley, gave us our first wins of the night in the backstroke events and a nice run of firsts & seconds from the younger age groups saw us pull within touching distance of the third spot.  However, with many swimmers having to compete out of age and, in some cases, out of their comfort zones, the points seemed to stretch away from us again in the final events & we had to settle for another solid fourth place finish.

That wasn’t where the drama ended however.  With a buoyant coach full of chatty swimmers & parents heading back to Nottinghamshire, the dreaded ‘M1 Closed’ overhead notices started to appear, and our fears were realised when, at J16, and at 10pm, the coach was diverted out into the Northamptonshire countryside.  As beautiful as that might be under normal circumstances, it added almost 2 hours onto the journey and meant a 2am arrival back at our home pool, the Rebecca Adlington Swim Centre.  The lengths some people will go to get out of Sunday morning training!

Many thanks to our hosts down in Bletchley who battled a series of technical problems and to the patient swimmers and spectators who amused themselves in the delays with some excellent Mexican Waves.

Head coach, Ian Negus, praised the squad’s performance & resilience in difficult circumstances, commenting “The National Arena League is the toughest competition we enter and our committed squad put in another gutsy display against some massive clubs in the Premier Division; all of the coaching team are very proud of their efforts.”