Tyrone rivals Dungannon and Cookstown came to their latest Forest Feast Aquasprints Gala knowing that a win would secure their place in the Divisional final and the added spice of a local derby ensured that the packed gallery of family, friends and supporters was in for a sporting treat.
The action was fast and furious from the first whistle and the medley relays gave the touch judges early headaches with 3 close finishes in the first four races. Two of these went in favour of Dungannon (a thrilling last length comeback win for Group A and a last touch win for Group D) and one to Cookstown (Group B) with Dungannon taking a further win in the Group C race to open an early gap. In the backstroke events there was again little to choose between the teams as each took four wins each. On three occasions (Group B Boys, Group C Girls and Group D Boys) the crowd were brought to their feet with only the smallest margin of victory in each race. Dungannon edged further ahead overall as they just shaded the second and third place finishes but everything was still to play for.
Next up were the breaststroke events and even though Dungannon took six wins to Cookstown’s two, the home team restricted Dungannon’s overall advantage by taking the majority of the minor places. The close finishes were still very much in evidence with the Group B and C Girls and the Group C and D Boys races all going to the last touch. In the butterfly events it was a case of “same again”. Four wins each from eight breathless races kept the gap at just 12 points and the overall result was still in the balance as the swimmers moved to the freestyle events.
The wins were evenly traded in the individual races as Dungannon won all four boys and Cookstown all four girls’ races. The home team narrowed the gap by securing five second and four third place finishes which meant that the overall result would be determined by the last four freestyle relay races. Things looked to be going Cookstown’s way in the Group A race but an exciting final length comeback secured another last touch win for Dungannon. Further wins for Dungannon in the Group B and C races brought us to the final race which Cookstown edged by just 0.12seconds.
Final score Dungannon 208-192 Cookstown. Well done to both teams on an excellent display.