A BREATHTAKING performance by the Chester-le-Street ASC Cannon Relay Team snatched a last-gasp victory from a strong Richmond Dale A team in the final race of the 51-event ‘rapid fire’ Durham Hub Gala programme, to take the overall County Durham top club award.
The Cannon team consisting of James Davison, Elle Brown, Oliver Wallace, Georgina Lee, Mason Jaques, Lauren Graham, Amy Harris and Brad Dobson battled throughout the race to maintain a slight lead over a determined Richmond Dale team, who came back strongly in the final leg to provide an exciting end to the gala, much to the delight of a packed spectator gallery at the Stanley Pool.
In a flurry of white water, however, Brad Dobson powered home to touch first with a time of 3.49.53, giving the Cestrians an overall victory by nine points.
A strong foundation for this success was laid in the earlier stages of the event when the girls 9-11 years freestyle relay team of Ellie Brown, Taryn Wheat, Rina Sebastian Yatzua and Ellen Haswell got Chester-le-Street off to a flying start, touching home first with a time of 2.16.62.
This was followed by a number of individual first-place finishes by Mason Jacques in the boys 15 years and under 100m backstroke (1.01.66) and 100m butterfly (1.04.75), Oliver Wallace in the boys 13 years and under 100m backstroke (1.12.63) and 100m freestyle (1.02.98), Ellie Brown in the 10 to 11 years girls 50m butterfly (36.05), James Davison in the boys 10 to11 years 50m backstroke (43.51), Lauren Graham in the girls 15 years and under 100m freestyle (1.00.04) and Taryn Wheat in the girls 10 to 11 years 50m freestyle (32.37).
Further points were secured with individual second place finishes by Lee Hitchman (50m backstroke), Nicola McConnell (100m breaststroke), Lauren Patterson (100m backstroke), Elle Brown (50m backstroke), Georgina Lee (100m backstroke and 100m butterfly), Katy Ovington (100m backstroke), Taryn Wheat (50m breaststroke), Alex Mason (100m butterfly), Lauren Graham (100m breaststroke) and James Davison (50m freestyle).
The boys Medley Relay Team of James Davison, Jacob Openshaw, Bradley Martin and Lee Hitchman then chipped in with full points in the 9-11 years event, while Oliver Wallace, Alex Mason, Matthew Hunt and Luke Haswell also took top spot in the boys 13 years and under freestyle team event.
Second-place finishes were also recorded by the boys 9-11 years Freestyle Relay team (James Davison, Jacob Oppenshaw, Bradley Martin and Lee Hitchman), the boys 13 years and under Medley Relay team (Oliver Wallace, Alex Mason, Matthew Hunt and Luke Haswell), girls 15 years and under freestyle relay team (Lauren Graham, Lauren Patterson, Olivia Nelson and Jessica Callaghan), boys 15 years and under freestyle relay team (Mason Jacques, Jamie Keyworth, Oliver Wallace and Alex Mason) and the girls 13 years and under freestyle team (Nicola McConnell, Georgina Lee, Faye Burns and Elle Brown).
Other Chester-le-Street swimmers chipped in with vital points, contributing to the total haul of 238 points to top the Durham Hub Gala table,
Final result: 1 Chester-le-Street 238 points, 2 Richmond Dale A 229, 3 Derwentside 193 points, 4 Consett 151, 5 Durham City 127, 6 Richmond Dale B 108.