What a great calendar year 2013 has been for the Dolphins.
The last team competition of the Year saw the Dolphins win the Gala 1 final of the 2013 Leicester and District Autumn League and with it became champions of the 22 competing clubs.
Equal on 12 league points with Leicester Penguins C after the first two rounds, the message to the swimmers from head coach Rob Sharp was simply: ‘Win the gala: Win the League’.
That was a task easier said than done as even though both Leicester Penguins and Sharks Teams were fielding their C teams, they have so much strength in depth throughout their clubs.
Gala 1 was for teams placed one to eight after round two, gala 2 was for teams placed nine to 14 and Gala 3 for teams placed 15 to 22.
There were 49 individual and relay events to contest, with eight points for a win through to one point for eighth place, and nothing for disqualifications.
There were 11 personal best times achieved but on this occasion, the times were not what mattered the most, securing the points was the ultimate aim.
After 16 events, the Dolphins with 96 points were four points ahead of Leicester Penguins C on 92.
After 32 events, the Penguins started to turn up the heat and with 185 points were three points ahead of the Dolphins on182.
After 40 events, the teams were equal on 235 points and through the last nine relay events the pendulum was swinging both ways to both clubs.
However going into event 49, there were five points separating the Dolphins on 288 to Penguins’ 283, but with eight points for the win, it was crucial that the relay takeovers were legal.
The Dolphins swimmers swam like their lives depended on it and won that final event with the Penguins coming second just 0.6 of a second behind, in what can only be described as one of the most exciting finishes ever witnessed by Dolphins supporters.
The battle for the minor places was almost as exciting with only seven points separating third-placed Leicester Sharks on 240 to fifth-placed Rushden.
1st: Daventry Dolphins 296 and 2013 Autumn League Champions
2nd: Leicester Penguins C 290
3rd: Leicester Sharks C 240
4th: Swadlincote 236
5th: Rushden 233
6th: Hinckley B 173
=7thWellingborough B and Leicester Penguins D 143
First places x 17
12/u girls medley relay team: Holly Cochrane / Rachel Coates / Keely Saville & Polly Smith
14/u girls med and free relay teams: Anya Bennett / Ellie Davies / Grace Cadd / Emily Sharp
14/u boys free and medley relay teams: Joseph Iacovides / Chris D’Agostino / John Quy / George Jarman
12/u boys med and free relay teams: Skip Snelson / Crawford Wright / Bradley Bennett / Sam Ayris
Open girls free relay team: Nichola Smith / Rachel Sullivan / Emma Bond and Anya Bennett
Joseph Iacovides 14/u 100m free and 100m back
Rachel Coates 12/u 25m fly
Emily Sharp 14/u 50m fly and 100m back
Anya Bennett 14/u 100m breast and Open 100m breast
William Adhemar open 100m fly
Mixed ages and gender 8 x 25m free relay: Emma Wilkins / Josh Hill / Rachel Coates / Skip Snelson / Emily Sharp / Joseph Iacovides / Anya Bennett / William Adhemar
12/u girls free team: as medley
Men’s open free relay team: William Adhemar / Jack Bond / Fraizer Cochrane & Joseph Iacovides
Christopher D’Agostino 14/u 100m breast
Emma Bond open 100m free
William Adhemar open 100m free
Rachel Sullivan open 100m back
Sam Ayris 12/u 50m breast
Open girls medley relay team: as free team
Girl’s 10/u free relay team; Emma Wilkins / Lucy Browne / Ellie Reeder and Chelsie Winter
Christopher D’Agostino 14/u 50m fly
Polly Smith 12/u 50m free
Jack Bond open 100m back
Holly Cochrane 12/u 50m back
Josh Hill 10/u 25m free
Rachel Coates 12/u 50m breast
Men’s open medley relay team: as free team
Winning 2013 squad members not already mentioned were: Justin Murphy, Daniel Smyth, James Ward, Stanley Beasley, Megan Browne, Grace Cadd, Harry Ballmann
Not since the heady days of the late 1990s has such excitement been had at the club.
In fact in 1998 when the Dolphins last won a trophy, the local Northamptonshire County League programme, head coach Sharp was 12 years old and part of that winning team, as was Nichola Smith who was then aged 17.
We should not forget the Daventry Dolphins B team who were competing at Gala 3 at Corby.
As previously reported, this was the first time in 15 years that the Club has been able to field two teams in the same League programme.
The home and host club, Corby ASC were the runaway winners on the night, but it was mighty close for the minor places.
1st: Corby ASC 345
2nd: Market Harborough B 237
3rd: Kettering B 212
4th: Loughborough 210
5th: Shepshed 195
6th: Daventry Dolphins B 184
7th: Oadby & Wigston 181
8th: Leicester Neptunes 164
There were 10 personal best times recorded and 17 NASA 2014 County Qualification times achieved.
Katie Ward 14/u girls 100m free
Grace Webber girls 14/u 100m back
Girls 14/u medley relay team: Grace Webber / Katie Cox / Grace Cadd / Katie Ward
Hannah Webber 12/u 50m back
Grace Cadd 14/u 50m fly
Girls 14/u free relay team: Grace Webber / Maya Patchett-Smyth / Katie Cox / Grace Cadd
Girls 12/u medley and free relay teams: Hannah Webber / Maya Patchett-Smyth / Lucie Ward / Annabel Murphy
Girls open medley and free teams: Katie Ward / Kimberley Mann / Charlotte Mann / Grace Cadd
Katie Cox 14/u 100m breast
Grace Webber 14/u 50m fly
Kimberley Mann open 100m breast
Lucie Ward 12/u 50m breast
Daryl Vokes open 100m fly
The other 2013 team members not already mentioned were Hannah Dennison, Abbie Stevens, Maddie Ayris, Caitlin Barratt, Isaac Sharp, Thomas James, Mackenzie Patchett-Smyth, Miles Baker, Thomas Stevens, Stephen Loc, Jake Oxley, Aaron Cox, Neil Setterfield and Luke Hickman.
We are awaiting confirmation of the League table.