The Senior Fenland League reached an exciting climax on 20th September, with the final taking place at the Hudson Leisure Centre, Wisbech. Teams from Dereham, Diss, West Norfolk and Ely joined hosts Wisbech, to battle it out over 47 races for this year’s trophy.
West Norfolk fielded an experienced team of swimmers, and took along an enthusiastic contingent of family members for strong vocal support. West Norfolk were quickly out of the starting blocks, notching up the wins, and making their intentions clear that they were out for victory in every race possible. As ever, a strong team spirit prevailed, with swimmers supporting each other throughout. Twenty year old Josh Gray enjoyed a fine evening’s competition, prior to returning to university, winning the Open 100m individual medley. At the other end of the experience and age spectrum, 9 year old Harry Sharpe coped exceptionally well with the pressure of the occasion. His presence enabled a Junior Relay team to take part in two races. In the 4x25m medley relay, team mates Robert Addis, Jake Lammas and Jacob Isle gave Harry a strong lead to enable the youngster to bring a win home in the final 25 metres.
Strong individual performances gained vital individual wins for the following swimmers; Robert Addis, Natalie Coogans, Alex Florance, Josh Gray, Astrid Hubbard, Jacob Isle, Jake Lammas, Isabel Overton, Jenny Read, Chloe Sorrell, Joseph Wells, Nathan Wells, Abigail Whiting and Roxanne Uys. The cannon relay provided a fitting finale, with the team of eight delivering a stunning performance to come from behind and win in fine style.
Overall, the whole team deserves nothing but the highest praise for taking the cup back to the trophy cabinet at St. James Pool. Head Coach, Sarah Vanderloo summed the evening up by saying,
“It really was a fantastic team performance by all, they demolished the opposition. I can’t remember the last time we won a gala by such a distance or with such a high number of first places.”
Huge thanks go to Sarah and all the poolside helpers; Lois Addis, Angela Gray Scott Lammas, Sue Read and Sam Sorrell. Charlotte Isle again provided eagle-eyed record keeping and information gathering on the night. Thanks to gala hosts, Wisbech Swimming Club, for making everyone welcome. And finally to the loyal band of supporters who shouted themselves hoarse.
Final Result 1st West Norfolk, 216 points; 2nd Dereham, 151; 3rd Wisbech, 130; 4th Diss, 107; 5th Ely, 95.