We had our first gala of the Provincial Towns League on Saturday in Coral Leisure. This was a home gala for us, we welcomed Ballymoney to Monaghan for this event. We had a full squad of swimmers
for the evening.
For this League we will have three galas between now and February followed by finals later in the season. These are team events; points are scored for each team depending on where their swimmers finish in the races. All races are 50m except for the 100 IM and the relays are 4 x 50m. There are four age groups, A to D, with A being our youngest swimmers and D being the older ones; fifteen years and older.
All hands were on deck on Saturday night (excuse the pun) to help with the preparations and the smooth running of the gala. We thank our parents and coaches for their help in many ways, making
sandwiches, setting up the pool, organising the children, timekeeping, the touch judges and so on.
The atmosphere was electric from start to finish with our team cheering on their teammates from the deck. There were some exciting medley relays at the start which set the tone for the evening. Sliabh Beagh did very well in the relays, this gave us hope that the rest of the gala might just be in our favour. For the next couple of hours our swimmers gave it their all and swam out of their skin. In many races we finished first, second and third which ensured the points added up quickly. In the final freestyle relays, again we were dominant with some very close races at the end.
After the gala we had some lovely refreshments provided by the parents of Sliabh Beagh swimmers. One Ballymoney parent declared ‘it was the best spread they’d ever gotten at a PTL gala’, so we better keep up our standards for next time!
Final score was announced: Sliabh Beagh 562, Ballymoney 391 so we had a convincing win and hopefully we can do the same again this weekend against Lecale in Downpatrick.
Well done to you all, you were all terrific and thanks also to the coaching team for their support and hard work.
Next gala is in Downpatrick on Saturday afternoon.