Vulcans soar to first round Lincs League victory

The first round of the Lincs League took place on Saturday with the trophy-holders Lincoln Vulcans under threat from a strong Grantham team and the newly formed Gainsborough Dolphins - a club which now features swimmers from the combined three former clubs of Gainsborough.

Lincoln Vulcans were further affected by the ASA Zonal Meet which was taking place in Corby and meant that 24 of the club's fastest swimmers were unavailable for selection for the first round providing the opportunity for new swimmers to perform for the first time at this level of competition.

The gala more than lived up to expectation with all three clubs taking the lead at different points of the evening and no club able to dominate proceedings. Victory in 5 of the opening 8 events saw the Vulcans take an early lead with the Girls 10/under FC relay team - with debut performances for all 4 swimmers who took first spot in an excellent race. A terrific 50m performance from Laura Bates saw her claim first place in the girls 10/under Butterfly and the young girls then followed up with victory in the 4 x 25m Individual Medley relay.

In the Open section early wins for Ollie Roberts and Laura Piggott in the 100m Freestyle were followed by victories in the 100m Butterfly courtesy of Charlotte McRae and Lewis Farren. Younger brother, Cameron McRae, kept up the family spirit with a win in the 12/under 50m Backstroke with Amelia Gratton claiming the first spot for the girls. Charlotte, not to be outdone, then raced to victory in a tight finish in the Open 100m Backstroke and Jamie White completed the double for the men's open category.

Further victories followed in the 10/under section for Laura Bates (50m Freestyle) and Grace Wilson (50m Breaststroke) and the evening was shaping up for a close finish. With only 8 remaining races Lincoln Vulcans and Gainsborough Dolphins were neck and neck and the Mens Open 4x50m Medley Relay saw a tremendous finish by Ollie Roberts who snatched first place with a storming last 10 metres. Both boys and girls 14/under FC Relay teams raced to second spot as the evening went to the wire.

With two races remaining Gainsborough had the edge but a win by the Boys 12/under Medley Relay team in the penultimate race ensured the competition would be decided on the final event.

The girls 12/under relay team, consisting of Amelia Gratton (Backstroke), Jessica Monopoli (Breaststroke), Jade Apps (Fly) and Grace Wilson (Freestyle) dominated the early part of the race before being overtaken on the final stretch by Grantham. However a spirited last 25 metres from Grace saw her hold off the Gainsborough swimmer to claim second spot, and victory overall, for the Vulcans!

The evening finished with a single point victory for Lincoln Vulcans over Gainsborough Dolphins with Grantham close behind.

Final result: LVSC A 179 Gainsborough Dolphins 178 Grantham 169 CLP 104 LVSC B 66.

Vulcans Chairman Dave Hendel commented:

It was a fantastic gala to watch with 3 teams so close. Obviously we are delighted that the Vulcans team was able to snatch victory at the end with so many new faces on the team. The depth of the talent in the club certainly shone through and the swimmers can be extremely proud of their achievement. Swimmers on our B team also gained some valuable racing practice. I would like to congratulate all of the swimmers who took part and made for such a fantastic evening of competition - rounds two and three promise to be exciting events!