Northsea “A” Secure Promotion to the Premier League

Portsmouth Northsea confirmed their place in the premier league next year when they secured back to back promotions at a thrilling gala in Guildford on Saturday night. The team went into the gala sitting in 3rd place in division one west knowing that only a top two finish would be good enough to secure a place in the top flight. They burst off the blocks in sparkling style with 6 top 2 finishes in the first 8 relay races to take an early lead over league leaders Newbury District. Individual wins from Rachel Christie (Girls U13 Breaststroke) and Kelly Small (Girls U15 Backstroke) ensured that Northsea had a marginal lead after 28 events.

The races continued to come thick and fast as Northsea were pegged back by Newbury with a storming run of form to open up a 3 point lead but wins from Max Burnell (Boys U13 Backstroke) and Sara Owen (Ladies Backstroke) ensured that Northsea took a firm grip on 2nd place as they opened up a 27 point lead over 3rd place Kingston Royals.

As the top 2 pulled away from the rest, the battle for 1st place and to be division one west champions became intense. Northsea kept the pressure on Newbury as further wins from Neil Redman (Men’s Breaststroke) and James Millar (Boys U15 Breaststroke) helped close the gap to just 2 points with only the relays to go.

In a frantic finish and roared on by the noise of the crowd, all the swimmers gave it their all. Wins in the Boys U13 Freestyle and the Boys U15 medley relays meant that Northsea trailed Newbury by only 2 points going into the final race, the men’s Freestyle relay.  Despite a fantastic effort from the guys, they were piped into 2nd place in the race by Basingstoke with Newbury coming in 3rd, meaning that they clinched 1st place on the night by just a single point!  

Although disappointed to have just missed out on top spot, the team can be incredibly proud of their achievements. Having only returned to Arena league action last year, back to back promotions mean that once again Portsmouth Northsea will be competing with the best team across southern England when they take to the pool in next years competition.