City of Cardiff - R2 2015

-A Team-

Round Two in the Western League finally arrived on 14 November with both A & B teams back in the Pool at Millfield & Hutton Moor respectively.

In the Premier League Gala 1, it was a very close fought gala between CCSC and our near neighbours and rivals, Swansea. With the team weakened due to a clash with the British University Championships as well as some illness in the ranks, it was always going to be a close call. However, it did give the chance for some other swimmers to step up and race in events that they would not normally do.

Harriet Jones stepped up to swim the 200m IM in a new best time of 2:19.47 for third place and followed it up with a victory in the 100m butterfly again in a new best time of 59.87 - her first time under the one minute mark. Another swimmer breaking this barrier for the first time was Claudia Murray who swam the 15 years and under 100m Freestyle in a swift 59.19 for second place.

Other fast best times were set in the 10/11 years age group by Becki De Torres in the 50m Backstroke and Butterfly (34.08 and 31.72), Arwen Stephens in the 50m Breaststroke (38.50), Amy Shelton in the 50m Freestyle (30.59) and Cai Wardhaugh in the 50m Backstroke (35.09); in the 13 years and under age group by Georgina Withers-Boalch in the 100m Backstroke (1:11.75), Rhys Wardhaugh in the 100m Backstroke (1:08.31), Lili-May Hutchinson in the 100m Breaststroke (1:22.09), Celyn Rickard-Frost in the 100m Butterfly (1:10.50), and Theo Savva in the 100m Freestyle (58.80); in the 15 years and under age group by India Burch in the 100m Butterfly (1:06.42); and finally in the open category by Annaliese Beynon who was swimming up an age group in the 100m Freestyle in 57.44.

It was an exciting gala and great atmosphere, which went right to the wire. Despite some really impressive relay performances, and a great team spirit, we suffered two unfortunate disqualifications in the final relays which saw Swansea snatch the lead from us and take the gala by 2 points.

Unofficial scores are Swansea Aquatics A 249, Cardiff A 247, Soundwell A 143, Yeovil 138, Swindon & Keynsham 136

This Places Cardiff A 3rd overall and we will need to be at our best to take on the might of Millfield and Plymouth Leander, as well as to get revenge on Swansea!"

-B team-

In Division 1, it was always going to be tough to repeat the famous victory of a month ago at the same venue, when the ‘B’ team overcame the odds to win by a single point. And so it proved this weekend.

The B team had plenty of excitement outside the Pool, with their bus breaking down on route to Hutton Moor.  

However a swift replacement from Ferris Coaches meant they arrived with 10 minutes of warm up remaining, just in time to compete in the gala.  A mad dash to get changed by the swimmers ensured they had some pool time before the gala commenced.

The team got off to an absolute flyer in lane 4. The strength in depth of the squad was showing itself as the 10 relay races saw the team stormed into a 13 point lead over Southwold, with Welsh rivals RCT Performance not far behind.

Everyone knew the comeback would come, and the B team was screaming itself hoarse trying to encourage every swimmer to fight for every single place. The next two sets of races saw the lead whittled down to one point over a Truro team who had been only fourth after the relays.

As Rob Couzens punched the air at the end of his Open Men’s’ 100m Backstroke victory, you could feel how much this competition meant to the whole team, although by now first places were becoming more and more rare. Third and fourth places just weren’t going to be enough to hold on, and so it proved as Cardiff slipped to third after 42 events with only the final set of cannons and relays to come.
Eight races to go, 11 points behind Truro, and seven behind Southwold.

All the parents edged slightly further forward in their seats and screamed encouragement at the swimmers, name by name.

Would the team’s amazing relay performances be enough to claw back such a big margin? We doubted it, but two firsts in the next three races gave everyone hope, especially when the U13 girls smashed it out of the park in the freestyle relay, winning by over half a length.

As the final race (Men’s open 6x50m Freestyle relay) was won, there was hope rather than expectation.  As the team gathered their belongings, and the parents loitered for results, no-one dared to dream. Could it be another nail-biting victory?

It was a brave effort, with some absolutely stunning swims. There were plenty of youngsters swimming with determination and team spirit against older competitors.

Final Results:

1 Truro 298
2 Cardiff B 291
3 Southwold 288
4 RCT 251
5 Cirencester 222
6 Chard 210
7 Kingsbridge 178

 B Team 4th overall & Top Welsh Club in Division 1!