Sliabh Beagh started off their Division Three Swim Ulster Provincial League series last Saturday with a positive round one win against a very promising Lecale team from Downpatrick.
With this being the first competitive opportunity for both teams since late June/early July all the races were keenly contested by the home and away team with the top two finishers in the relays and the top four finishers in the individual events determining valuable points throughout the Dual meet, Sliabh Beagh made a strong showing across the board in all four age-groups In the first event of the evening, the mixed Medley relay events provided a great start for Sliabh Beagh with strong top point places for the Group A (U10) team made up of Rian Lynch, Evin Casey, Hannah McKenna and Lexi
Ronaghan, Group B (U12) the team of Owen Fitzpatrick, Clodagh McCabe, Egan Hearty and Lily Deery, Group C (U14) made up of Justas Jurusas, Ridas Zelvys, Riya George and Ellie Mulligan, while Group D (15+) team of Sean Greenan, Darragh Hughes, Aisling Duffy and Katherine Ryan made it a clean sweep in the double points events.
The 50 Backstroke represented the first individual event of the competition where Sliabh Beagh built on the momentum of the Mixed Medley relays with one/two finishes from Hannah McKenna and Lexi Ronaghan, Rian Lynch and Jacob McCabe (U10), and in the U12 age-group by Lily Derry and Clodagh McCabe, Owen Fitzpatrick
and Egan Hearty. In the U14 age-group, Lecale dominated the girls event with Sliabh Beagh swimmers Riya George and Ellie finishing second and fourth respectively, while in the U14 Boys age-group, Justas Jurusas and Ridas Zelvys making in a one/two finish and in the Group D category, Katherine Ryan placed first and Aisling Duffy
third in the girls event, while Adam Lynch and Sean Greenan finished second and third respectively behind Lecale’s extremely fast Ulster short course 50 Backstroke champion, Daniel Mulholland. Promising Backstroke swims were posted by Katie Farrell, Nathan McQuillan, Aoife Mullen, Zach Mulligan, Clodagh Connolly, Charlie
Duffy, Hannah Sheridan and Edvardas Zumaras.
In the 50 Breaststroke, Lexi Ronaghan, Hannah McKenna, Evin Casey and Hugh Connolly continued top points for the A age-groups with one/two finishes in both categories. In Group B, Clodagh McCabe and Sophia Vergnano made it one/two finish, while in the Boys age-group Owen Fitzpatrick placed first and Daithi Lynch third in another strong showing for Group B. In the Group C age-group, Millie Skeath and Ellie Mulligan finished second and fourth
respectively, while Justas Jurusas and Ridas Zelvys continued their top point finishes with another one/two place finish. In Group D, Katherine Ryan and Hannah Sheridan finished second and fourth respectively, while Darragh Hughes and Adam Lynch finished second and third in another fast race against the sublime Daniel Mulholland from Lecale. Excellent Breaststroke swims and just outside the points were achieved by Cora McArdle, Jacob McCabe, Eabha McMullen, Colm Duffy, Aoife Duffy, Matthew Mohan, Sophie Neeson and Matthew McQuaid.
In the 50 Butterfly, Hannah McKenna and Rian Lynch secured top finishes and points in the A Group age-group while Lexi Ronaghan and Evin Casey both finished third in their categories in very tight finishes. Group B produced strong results with Clodagh McCabe and Egan Hearty winning both events, with Lily Deery finishing second and Owen Fitzpatrick fourth respectively. In the Group C age-group, Riya George and Justas Jurusas took top points with Ellie Mulligan each placed fourth ensuring Sliabh Beagh kept ahead of Lecale in the Butterfly discipline, while Aisling Duffy and Katherine Ryan finished third and fourth respectively in the Group D girls category, and Adam Lynch and Darragh Hughes made it a first one/two finish in their age-group. Encouraging Butterfly swims were set by Cora McArdle, Nathan McQuillan, Aoife Mullen, Chullain Rankin, Aoife Duffy, Charlie Duffy, Hannah Sheridan and Edvardas Zumaras.
The 50 Freestyle produced strong results for Sliabh Beagh with first place finishes for Hannah McKenna and Hugh Connolly in Group A and important point finishes for Lexi Ronaghan who finished fourth and Rian Lynch who finished second. In the Group B age-group, Lily Deery and Clodagh McCabe finished one/two, while Owen Fitzpatrick and Egan Hearty finished first and third respectively in a very competitive race. In the Group C events, Riya George and Ellie Mulligan place second and fourth respectively, while Justas Jurusas and Ridas Zelvys made it their third one/two place finish scoring invaluable points, and in the Group D events fast finishes and exciting racing were produced with Aisling Duffy and Katherine Ryan finishing third and fourth respectively, while Adam Lynch and Darragh Hughes placed second and third. First class Freestyle swims were achieved by Sophie McMullen, Jacob McCabe, Ellen Casey, Chullain Rankin, Clodagh Connolly, Darren Gillanders, Sophie Neeson and Kristupas Januskevious.
In the last of the individual events, the 100 Individual Medley proved to be superb event for Sliabh Beagh. In the Group A age-group Hannah McKenna, Lexi Ronaghan, Evin Casey and Rian Lynch made it a one/two in both events and maximum points. In Group B, Clodagh McCabe, Sophia Vergnano, Owen Fitzpatrick and Egan Hearty made it another one/two finish in both events and top points, while in Group C Riya George and Millie Skeath finished third and fourth respectively and Justas Jurusas and Ridas Zelvys placed first and second for the fourth time on the night! In Group D, Katherine Ryan and Hannah Sheridan placed second and fourth, while on the last individual event of the night, Adam Lynch and Darragh Hughes took first and second top honours in excellent swims. Outstanding individual medley races were performed by Sophie McMullen, Hugh Connolly, Eadha McMullen, Daithi Lynch, Ellie Mulligan, Charlie Duffy, Aisling Duffy and Sean Greenan. With the Mixed Freestyle relays being the last events on the night, Sliabh Beagh produced an array of wonderful results with first place finishes in Group A (Rain Lynch, Lexi Ronaghan, Hannah McKenna and Hugh Connolly),
Group B (Owen Fitzpatrick, Clodagh McCabe, Lily Deery and Egan Hearty), Group C (Justas Jurusas, Ridas Zelvys, Ellie Mulligan and Riya George) and Group D (Adam Lynch, Darragh Hughes, Katherine Ryan and Aisling Duffy) ensuring a fantastic end to the meet for the home team. With the Freestyle relay finishes greatly helping the final points tally, Sliabh Beagh secured a 537-415 win and got
their PTL series up and running against a very gallant Lecale team.
With warm and inspiring speeches being shared by both teams, Sliabh Beagh would like to congratulate this season’s Club Captains, Aisling Duffy and Edvardas Zumaras and wish them the very best in their leadership roles on the night and for the season.
With Round one completed, round two will be a massive challenge for Sliabh Beagh where they have an extremely tough road trip to Limavady next weekend which promises to be a nail-biter and will no doubt have a huge bearing on the Division Three promotion stakes.