The second weekend in October saw the return of the National Arena League (NAL). Mid Sussex Marlins had two teams competing. Our A team were competing at home in the South Premier Division and our B team were competing at Horsham in Division 1 East for the first time, having been promoted from Division 2 last season.
In front of a good crowd and in a very loud atmosphere the A team stepped into the cauldron that is the Premier Division. Our team really rose to the challenge and swam brilliantly. The final scores in Premier Gala 3 were.
- Bromley 229 points
- Oxford A 188 points
- Mid Sussex A 183 points
- Chelmsford 152 points
- Leatherhead 148 points
- Rushmoor Royals A 148 points
This is a great result for R1 of the Premier Division and we were only 5 points from 2nd place Oxford.
At the same time our B team were in Horsham. The jump up in standard from Division 2 was obvious from the get go. However the team swam really well and credit goes in particular to our Boys 15/U who were dominant. Well done Eren, Harry, Will and Ross. The final scores at Division 1 East Gala 3 were:
- Kent Weald Green 227 points
- Sevenoaks B 187 points
- Orpington OJ 185 points
- Hailsham 166 points
- Mid Sussex B 132 points
- East Grinstead 122 points
So after Round 1 our A team find themselves joint 7th out of 18 in the Premier Division and our B team are joint 13th out of 18 in Division 1 East.
A great start to what will be a very exciting and no doubt tough NAL series.
Steve Murphy, our head coach, was understandably very proud of both teams. He explained that Bromley were second in the national B final last year and that the same year Oxford reached the A final of the National Arena League, so for our A team to be so close to these teams was a real achievement and testament to the improvements made since last year’s campaign. Steve was also delighted with the performance of the B team in what is a much tougher league and against so many clubs A teams. Steve commented that only 4 or 5 years ago our A team were targeting staying in Division 1. For us now to have a team in the top half of the Premier Division and for our B team to be looking to cement its position in Division One is testament to the progress our wonderful club has made.
Round 2 is on Saturday 9th November.