Final Round Arena League – emotional!

It’s not difficult to understand why everyone enjoys League Galas especially after the final round of Arena League last night at Pool in the Park, Woking.

Going into the final round Thanet were seeded 3rd behind Sevenoaks and City of Oxford but we also knew that Woking would be strong on they home turf. Not least, illness had blighted our training over the last couple of weeks.

Yet cometh the hour cometh the ‘gutsiest’ and exhilarating performance of the season; it was difficult to keep a lid on the tweeter emotions!!

We couldn’t have asked for a better start; in the first 4 races we clocked up 3 first places and a second – dream start with the boys and girls u11 relays both bagging 1st place in the Free Relay something they later repeat in the Medley relay.

At the first check point after 10 races we had a narrow 1 point lead over Sevenoaks who had suffered a crucial DQ in race 9 as had Woking in race 7. At the evening unwound, that DQ for Sevenoaks proved pivotal.

Over the next 8 races, it was nip and tuck between ourselves, Woking and Sevenoaks. But wins by Jamie in the 100 Breast and Katie in 100 Back meant that at the next check point we still maintained that 1 point lead over Sevenoaks but Woking was now hot our heels only 5 points back. Even at this early stage it was clear that these 3 teams were going to fight for contention all night. But could we maintain our composure?

Well the next set of races suggested otherwise with a run 5th places however Katie won her second race of the evening the 100 back in the Open category. As a consequence at race 26, Sevenoaks now held a 11 point lead over both Thanet and Woking.

Down hearted – no way! Another win for Jamie in 100 fly plus 4 2nd places meant that we were now only 4 points behind Sevenoaks and we had put daylight between us and Woking.

On a roll – you bet! Wins for Maisie in 50 fly and Kyri in 100 Breast plus another 4 2nd seconds place put the pressure on – we were finishing strong. At the penultimate check point we were now 2 points ahead of Sevenoaks and 15 points ahead of Woking with just 8 races left.

Two 1st places from the u11s almost put us out of sight but a DQ could change the landscape in a moment. Two 2nd places by the u15 boys and girls just about secured victory. Just the Squadron left. Noisy? Yes! Did enough? Yes. Winners? Oh yes!

So for the second year running we finished overall in 8th place in the Premier Division, something to be very proud of. Until next year.

Full results here.

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