Limavady V Dungannon – Aquasprints Division 2 Report
The day started well with our squad of swimmers boarding the bus at Roe Valley Leisure Centre at 3:30pm. There was excitement and enthusiasm all mixed together with some nerves and tensions. This gala was set to be special; the first Aquasprint meet of 2014, the first since our promotion to Division 2 and a baptism in the away waters of Dungannon Swimming Pool for our new “A” swimmers.
The Coaches knew this would be a tough meet and a real litmus test for our squad, Dungannon had swum in Division 1 last year and whilst they got demoted, they fought bravely in the upper echelons of the Aquasprint League. Nonetheless, we were confident of our own team; we had earned promotion to Division 2 with a very strong line-up and had belief in our new “A” swimmers.
At 17:20 hours, the Dungannon Presenter called for warm-ups and we could see a few pondering looks from our swimmers regarding the diving blocks! Not only was the swimming pool deck raised approximately 12 inches above water level, but their diving blocks were oversized too. This meant our squad would be starting over a foot higher off the water than in all their normal training session in RVLC… nevertheless, a few quick words of wisdom from the coaches on how to counteract this unfamiliar obstacle and our warm-up got underway. Yet, there was always a thought in the back of LASC minds that this dive block setup could come back and haunt us in the tight races! “Would this be the case”?
LASC were allocated Lanes 1, 3 and 5 in the six lane bath… All in all, Limavady had lots of travelling support and they were as vocal as they were in numbers. It was clear, that before any racing was started, LASC supporters were going to raise the roof and triumph in the maximum decibels department regardless of what was happening on the swim score sheet.
Over the course of the evening, there were 40 different events… It was a real nail bitter, the terms; swings and roundabouts, to-and-fro, hare’s whisker and skin of your teeth could not be more apt than in the description of this meet. Most people who had kept a tally in their heads of what was happening couldn’t decide either way… and to add to suspense, the announcer wasn’t able to give regular score updates due to the panel of adjudicators struggling with the laptop. Chinese whispers took the changing rooms by storm, one of the LASC “B” swimmers was sure we squeezed in front and had the “W” - his excitement soon pasted thru the ranks and anticipation was getting feverish… but mumblings from the Dungannon squad were also making their way round. It really was that tight!
Our hosts laid on a lovely spread of food and drink, but whilst eating and chatting it still wasn’t clear who had claimed victory. Waiting patiently we were soon put out of misery… this meet could have gone either way… Dungannon were successful by 12 solitary points… Or so the computer had said… “Could there be legs to grow on this yet after final analysis?”LASC have lots to be proud off; this DGN team raced in Division 1 during 2013 and we were separated by the differences in 2nd and 3rd places and their allocated points. Both teams shared the spoils in the key races, both teams had some amazing standout individual and relay performances, (We believe we might even have 3 new club records!) but at the end of the day, this was a TEAM event and we couldn’t be more proud of our first Aquasprint outing in 2014. Perhaps if this was a home event in the familiar waters of RVLC with our own diving blocks we could have taken the spoils! The analysis will go on; we know that we missed out on two relays by a fraction of a second and we know that a little bit more work on our Breaststroke and Butterfly will clearly give us significant gains in the future.
To be fair to Dungannon; they worked hard too and showed that they are fighters; the team that they put out was the best they had. However, this hard fought contest may have to be done again on Finals Night… Come On LASC!!!!!