Matlock and District Swimming Club fielded a largely inexperienced team at Ripley Rascals’ recent novice gala for ages nine to 12 at Alfreton Leisure Centre.
This was seen as an opportunity to allow younger up and coming swimmers and those not often selected to represent the club alongside some gala regulars to gain some valuable experience of a competitive swimming gala.
Hosts Ripley Rascals submitted two teams designated ‘yellow’ and ‘blue’ with Ashbourne and Belper sending one apiece.
Matlock began strongly with first places in both the girls and boys ten years and under 50m freestyle, with Abigail Fowkes and Thomas Burch both posting personal best times. Other first place results were achieved by Arron Frobisher in the boys 12/u 50m backstroke and Maya Woodward and Ben Bayes in the girls and boys 12/u 50m butterfly respectively.
Ripley ‘yellow’ had taken an early points lead and held this position at the halfway stage with Matlock in second place.
Further race wins in the second half were achieved by Hannah Fowkes (girls 11/u 50m Butterfly), Will Needham (boys 11/u 50m butterfly), Ezara Nettleship (girls 9yrs 25m backstroke) and Charlie Kennedy (boys 9yrs 25m backstroke) with Elliott Poplar, Isobel Croft, Angel Bowering, Sara Gould, Emma Lillis, Dylan Bayes, Hugh Proctor, Oliver Shaw, Alice Elphick and Matthew Barratt all posting superb personal best times in their respective events.
Throughout the evening each age group for both boys and girls competed in freestyle and medley relays. The older Matlock swimmers were strong in this area with further wins for the boys 11/u 4x25m freestyle, boys 8x25m freestyle and boys 12/u 4x25m medley with some close second places including the final race of the night, the cannon 8x25m.
Ripley ‘yellow’ maintained their lead with a fine display and took a deserved first place overall in the final standings, however Matlock held their second place comfortably and the team went home in high spirits, satisfied with a job well done.