DESPITE finding the going extremely tough in round three of the Nuneaton Junior ‘Diddy’ League, Pershore Swimming Club managed to retain their status in the top flight at Leamington on Saturday.
Pershore were given a cruel draw in the final round of the competition, finding themselves against the might of three of the top four clubs in the division including league leaders Northampton, Leamington Spa and Boldmere – all boasting national and regional swimmers within their ranks.
Victories on the night were few and far between, with only Pershore’s junior captains – Megan Annis (12) and Will Gearey (12) – managing to take maximum points in individual events.
Lauren Annis got the team off to a solid start with fifth place in the girls’ 10/u 50m freestyle, while younger brother David took fourth in the nine-year 25m breaststroke. James Heeks battled hard in the 10/u 50m freestyle for sixth and Grace Styler also worked hard in the 25m breaststroke but also placed sixth.
Pershore’s 11/u girls 4x25m medley team of Hannah Woodcock, Caitlin Yates, Jasmine Franks and Macey French put in a tremendous effort to snatch third place, while Annis grabbed a superb victory and maximum points in the 12/u 50m backstroke with 33.59.
Patrick Heeks claimed third in the boys’ event with 34.63 and was unlucky not to grab second. Annis was soon back in action in the 12/u 50m fly, coming fourth in 33.94, and Heeks also came fourth in the boys’ equivalent in 34.38.
Hannah Woodcock came close to taking the win in the 11/u 50m backstroke before being edged into second in 36.62. Leo Rendall-Baker came fifth in the boys’ event in 41.71 and pushed hard all the way. Woodcock added another second in the 11/u 50m breaststroke in 40.69.
Pershore’s second win came courtesy of Will Gearey, taking maximum points by a clear margin in the boys’ 12/u 50m breaststroke in 36.88. Jasmine Franks took third in the girls’ 11/u 50m fly in 36.85 while David Annis managed second in the nine-year 25m fly in 18.47.
Victory number two for Gearey came in his favourite 50m freestyle, taking the win in a quick time of 27.47 and holding off his Northampton national rival.
James Heeks and Jasmine Hoskins both took fifth in the 10/u 50m backstroke, as did Luke Drayton in the boys’ nine-year 25m freestyle and Drayton in the 50m backstroke.
The boys’ 12/u 50m 4x25m freestyle relay team of Hamish Cross, Heeks, Gearey and Kieran Cooper took third in a very exciting finish and then went one better to claim second in the medley as Cooper took silver on the anchor leg.
Jasmine Hoskins took fourth in the 10/u 25m fly and David Annis – swimming an age group up – also took fourth in the boys’ event.
The girls’ 12/u 4x25m medley team of Megan Annis, Caitlin Yates, Charlotte Downey and Holly Winkley took fifth spot.
Other swimmers representing Pershore included Oliver Smith, Ned and Lara Meredith, Ethan Stanley, Jessica English, William and Lily Mullen, Amelia Gearey, Georgia Winkley, Max Murray, Josh Lester, Charlotte Downey, Max Aris and Cameron Leach.
Final standings: 1st Northampton, 245; 2nd Leamington, 203; 3rd Boldmere, 199; 4th Stratford, 170; 5th Chase, 124; 6th Pershore, 120.
Commenting on the performance, Pershore’s head coach Tom Naughton said: “This was always going to be a tough night for us, especially drawing the top clubs.
“Every swimmer gave it their all and they’ll learn from being pitted against such quality opposition. The main thing though is that we retained our status in Division One for another season which is great news!”