PERSHORE Swimming Club added another trophy to their growing collection by winning the Worcester Winter League final in style.
Held at Droitwich Leisure Centre, Pershore found themselves up against local rivals Evesham, Warley Wasps, Haden Hill and Oldbury and it was to prove a nail-biting affair between Pershore and Oldbury.
Despite being handed a poor outside lane draw, Pershore showed they meant business with victory for the mixed 11/u 6x25m medley team by a massive 13 seconds.
Jasmine Taite took second in the girls’ 15/u 100m freestyle in 1.05.98 while Tyler McLean battled to third place in 1.01.31.
Naomi Marsden handed the team their second victory, taking the girls’ 13/u 100m backstroke title in dominant form in 1.12.42. Simon Sweatman then blew the opposition away in boys’ event, setting a stunning personal best time of 1.05.82 (one of the fastest in the UK this year) to beat his Oldbury rival.
Amy Cooper (13) showed no fear as she competed in the open 100m butterfly and put in an incredible performance of 1.16.84 to claim a much-deserved second. Angus Jones swam hard in the men’s open, touching in 1.12.59.
Two more maximum points soon followed for Pershore as Alexandra Barry won the 50m freestyle in 30.65 and Kieran Cooper then stormed to victory in 32.16.
The team’s mixed 15/u 6x25m medley team were just edged into second place by rivals Oldbury and after ten events Pershore held a slim lead on 51 points from Oldbury on 49, with Haden Hill back on 36, Evesham 33 and Warley 31.
Megan Annis proved far too quick in the girls’ 13/u 100m fly, winning in 1.18.25, while Chris Vizard also proved too strong in the boys’ events, taking victory in 1.10.56.
Alex Dobell pushed hard for a good time of 1.17.88 in the open 100m backstroke and Owen Leeks also worked hard for 1.10.77 as both claimed fourth spots.
Hannah Woodcock never looked troubled in the girls’ 11/u 50m backstroke, leading from the gun for a time of 36.42, and Patrick Heeks was edged into second on the touch in 35.41, losing to the Oldbury swimmer by a mere 0.11 seconds.
Amy Cooper and Vizard were both soon back in action, this time in the 15/u 100m fly, with Cooper taking second in 1.17.25 and Vizard going faster still for second in 1.09.66.
Isabella Woodcock’s first taste of action was in the girls’ 13/u 100m breaststroke and she held on for an essential second place in 1.25.61. Will Gearey took victory from Oldbury in a closely fought race, touching for the win in 1.19.31.
After 20 events, Pershore and Oldbury were well clear of the other clubs, with Pershore on 101 and Oldbury 98, with Haden Hill on 72, Warley 68 and Evesham 59.
Barry made it individual win number two by easily taking maximum points in the 11/u 50m fly in 34.20 and Heeks this time got the better of his Oldbury rival with an excellent performance to win in 34.33.
Beth Carter battled hard for silver in the girls’ 15/u 100m breaststroke in 1.23.35, while Gearey – swimming up an age group – found the opposition too strong from Haden Hill this time but still managed a superb second in 1.19.07.
Taite – another to swim up several age groups – produced a gutsy display in the open 100m freestyle to come second in 1.07.02, while Pershore’s Harry Sykes – back from international duty in Spain for Great Britain’s Modern Pentathlon team – went sub 60-seconds with a fantastic 57.23 in the men’s event.
Annis produced her second victory with another easy win, this time in the girls’ 11/u 50m breaststroke in clocking 40.30, and Hamish Cross – in excellent form recently – also snatched a great win in the boys’ event in 41.71.
Marsden and Sweatman – both swimming up age groups in the 15/u 100m backstroke – could not quite repeat their earlier victories but still produced excellent second places with 1.14.23 and 1.08.42 respectively.
After 30 events, Pershore (154 points) had extended their lead slightly over Oldbury to eight points, with Haden Hill on 109, Warley on 98 and Evesham on 90.
Barry – swimming up – then completed an excellent day’s swimming by sealing win number three in the girls’ 13/u 100m freestyle in 1.07.68 and Gearey clinched his second victory with a dominant performance in the boys’ event in 1.00.66.
Carter swam hard again but was edged into second again in the open 100m breaststroke with a 1.23.62 and Sykes came third in the men’s open in 1.14.72.
So, with just four relay events remaining, Pershore held a nine-point lead over Oldbury and just needed to hold their nerve for victory.
With the crowd reaching fever pitch, the mixed 11/u 6x25m freestyle team helped settle the supporters’ nerves with a stunning win from Evesham and Oldbury back in third.
The mixed 15/u 6x25m freestyle team secured second place, with Oldbury taking maximum points, while the mixed 13/u 6x25m relay team restored their lead again with another fantastic victory.
Despite Oldbury taking maximum points in the last event of the day, Pershore’s earlier efforts were enough to secure a remarkable victory and the final standings were Pershore 204, Oldbury 198, Haden Hill 146, Warley 127 and Evesham 118.
Pershore’s head coach Tom Naughton said: “This was a great win and another trophy for the club. Every single swimmer was magnificent.”