Saturday 23rd April saw the junior squad from Newry and Mourne head to Portadown in the last gala of the Forest Feast aquasprint league. Having been beaten by Portadown last season by only 2 points the team were anxious to redress the balance. As always the medley relays opened the gala. The first two went to Newry and the second two went to Portadown. This opening set the scene for the entire event with the points swinging between both teams.
Portadown were leading by 6 points heading into the freestyle relays so Newry had to ensure at least 3 wins to secure a victory. Luckily the first 2 races went to Newry but the 3rd went to Portadown, leaving them with a 2 point advantage going into the final relay. Newry, however, were not giving up and the D group team of Ellie Quinn, Jack Magill, Rachel Kelly and Ben Rafferty swam as if they were on trial for the Olympics and claimed the victory for Newry by a fingertip. The score line was the same as last year 201 points to 199, only this year the victory went to Newry.
Excellent performances were put in by Ben Rafferty who won all his 4 races and swam the last length in the nail biting final relay. Tara Haffey and Darragh Quinn both won 3 of their races, were narrowly beaten into 2nd in the other and were on both the medley and freestyle winning teams. Lewis Gray won 2 races and was 2nd in the other 2 and Liam Og Mathers who won 2 and came 2nd and 3rd in the others. Both boys were also on both winning relay teams.
Another amazing result for these youngsters who are really on a roll this season leaving the team with 4 wins and 1 draw to date. This puts the team in a very strong position as they await to see who they have to compete against in the swim off for promotion.