SWIMMING: Aiming for place in Grand Final

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Rugby beat bigger club Worcester by three points

Rugby Swimming Club travelled to the Snow Dome in Tamworth, unfortunately not skiing, but swimming, knowing a good result could well mean they would make the Mercial League Grand Final for the first time in many years.

This competition is open to all the teams in the Mercian and surrounding areas, with any swimmer who has a Midlands qualifying time not allowed to compete.

Whilst RSC had more swimmers with MQTs than ever this year, the club’s recent resurgence showing the next level of swimmers are becoming a match for anyone in the area.

Rugby were vying for the lead all evening with Worcester, a much larger club, as the two left Warley Wasps, Tamworth, Ludlow and Kingsbury Aquarius in their wake.

Rugby actually led at every points check, though the size of the gap varied, and Worcester had the better finish, but Rugby held on to win by three points 240-237.

A relay disqualification for Rugby late on, allowed Worcester to get a bit closer than was comfortable.

New head coach James Dyer marshalled the troops, as always a couple of late withdrawals meaning a bit of late reshuffling, but you would never have guessed.

Rugby won 20 of the 51 events, to Worcester’s 14, and were only outside the top three on a couple of occasions, as the team generally had two ways of winning races.

Some opted for the “coming from behind on the last length approach”. These included Rachel Lloyd, twice, in the over 15s Breaststroke and IM, Anna Farrow in her 12s Fly, Rhys James in the men’s IM, Jasmine Rigg, in the 14s 100m back, Megan Williams in the open Back, and several of the relay teams playing catch up, but taking first.

Most noticeably the men’s open Medley Relay, with Rhys, Devesh Chohan, Ethan Fletcher, and George Jarman being as low as 5th at one stage, also the girls’ 10s Freestyle relay, of Erin Lloyd, Libby O’Brien, Ella Marlow, and Clara Heywood coming back from being well down early on.

The ladies’ open team of Rachel, Megan, Abbie Dolly, and Lucy house won both relays in much the same fashion, Rugby has not been traditionally very strong in the open ladies, often lacking depth of talent, but no more.

The second type of winner was the “beat the opposition by at least half a length option”. These included, Ben Jones, who swam 1.26 for 100m Breaststroke in the 14s, Erin Lloyd in the 50m free, winning by 6 clear seconds, Erin Moran in the 12s Breaststroke, Megan Williams in the open 100m free, Toby Rigg in the 12s 100m Free, winning by over 8 seconds here.

One swimmer, Jack Dolly, in his debut for the club, couldn’t decide which option to go for, so he did both. Joining older sister Abbie, in swimming the Open 100m Fly, he was fourth at the last turn, and indeed 4th with 10m to go, but came storming through to win in 1.08.19.

Only six races later, swimming in his own age group, the 14s, he decided on option 2, as he won by over 15m, understandably in a slightly slower time. Several relays also opted for this approach, with Jack, teaming up with Ben Jones, Pavels Scerbakovs, and Max Taylor in winning both the Freestyle and Medley relays by nearly a whole length, not bad in a 4x1 length relay.

Other relays taking this approach were the girls’ 14s, with Jasmine, Aoife Williams, Ceri House, and Erin Moran claiming both by a distance. this was especially notable considering Erin was swimming up having already swam the 12s.

Additionally a number of second places kept the proverbial score board ticking, including Clara Haywood, Pavels, Abbie, Harriet Troupe, Aoife, George, Nat Kayada, Ceri, Max, Erin (Moran and Lloyd), Ella Marlow, and several of the relay teams.

We now await the official results and hopefully confirmation of a place in the Grand Final. Chairman Simon Rigg