A thrilling victory was pulled off by the young swimmers of the Ripley Rascals club in the third and final round of the Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire Junior League.
The competition, which is colloquially known as the ‘Diddy League’, is for youngsters aged between nine and 12. And Ripley won 16 of the 48 races at the gala, which was held at Alfreton Leisure Centre, to come from behind and snatch first place from their local rivals, Derby Phoenix.
After the first 16 races, they trailed Phoenix by nine points. But this was reduced to three after 32 events before the team really stepped up the heat and produced some very strong swims to end up with 219 points, 16 ahead of Phoenix, with Long Eaton third on 183, Arnold fourth on 182 and Worksop Dolphins trailing in a distant fifth place. Ripley’s triumph was crowned by a win in the final race, the cannon relay, which was contested by one swimmer from each age group.
Individual winners at the gala were: Cole Webster, Abi Dawson, George Whittle, Noah Tannahill, Daisy Stone, Ruby Haslam, Liam Dawson and Zoe Radford. Ripley also won four of the other relays, thanks to the ten-year-old boys’ medley and freestyle squads, the ten-year-old girls’ freestyle team and the 12-year-old girls’ freestyle squad.
Personal-best swims were recorded by: Abbie Porter, Daisy Stone, Samuel Blake, Barney Render, Anna Booth, Ruby Haslam, Freya Layton and Zoe Radford.