‘All systems go’ for Arena League 2018…

A report from our Team Manager, Dan Valovin

Last Saturday saw the return of the National Arena League. We had two teams competing. Our A team were competing at home in the South Premier Division for the first time and our B team were competing in Division 2 East and we had a trip to Dover.

In front of a large crowd and in an amazing atmosphere the A team stepped into the cauldron that is the Premier Division and wow what talent there was on show (and that’s just the Marlin’s). The standard was really high and our team rose to the challenge.  The final scores in Gala 1 were.

  • 1st         Wycombe A                        265 points
  • 2nd       Thanet A                              197 points
  • 3rd        Portsmouth Northsea    171 points
  • 4th        Mid Sussex Marlins A   164 points
  • 5th        Rushmore Royals A         159 points
  • 6th      Amersham                              88 points

This is a great result for our first outing in the Premier Division.

At the same time our B team were in Dover. The team swam really well and again the atmosphere was electric throughout the Gala.  The final scores at Dover were:

  • 1st:         Dover Lifeguards                227 points
  • 2nd         Mid Sussex Marlins B    213 points
  • 3rd       Beckenham B                        176 points
  • 4th        Redhill & Reigate                 175 points
  • 5th        Larkfield                                 130 points
  • 7th         Dartford & Dist                    116 points

So after round 1 our A team find themselves 10th out of 18 in the Premier Division and our B team are 3rd out of 12 in Division 2 East. This year in Division 2 the top 3 get promoted so there really is all to swim for in both teams.

Steve Murphy, our head coach, was understandably very proud of both teams and had the follow to say after the Gala’s.

“Our 2018 Arena league campaign has got off to a flying start! Our newly promoted A team faced some incredibly strong opposition with all 5 of the other teams having made the National Arena league A or B finals at various times over the past years. This did not phase or stop us putting in a fantastic team performance.  We held our own all evening and challenged hard in every single race producing some quality performances along the way. We ended the evening in 4th position and very close to 3rd place. In 2014 and 2015 the club placed 11th in div 1. We now sit in 10th position in the premier league having competed in what was arguably the toughest draw of the three, an outstanding start for us to build on.”

“Our B team made the journey to Dover with what I would class as our strongest B team yet and they did not disappoint. Our swimmers fought hard all evening winning a high number of races and also setting some fantastic times along the way. The swimmers raced exceptionally well having travelled so far and in such a different setting which is a credit to them and their resilience. We finished the night in a close second place and have now set ourselves up for a great opportunity to progress this team in the league. I’d like to thank our team managers for their efficient work on the night at both venues and of course all the work prior to the event from Dan and also Dave and Lee who coached with me at the triangle and Nic who coached the B team in Dover, a great job done by all and onwards to round 2.”

Thank you Steve. Can we also say a huge thank you to our events team, led by Louise Richardson, and our many volunteers & officials who helped run the home Gala at the Triangle and to those who traveled with us to Dover.

 

The ‘A’ team Team Talk

Warm up in Dover for the ‘Bees’