Cookstown lose out to Coleraine

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THE PTL swimmers of Cookstown travelled to Coleraine on Saturday, with both teams unbeaten this season. This was the first time the clubs had ever met, with Cookstown only promoted this season to the dizzy heights of Division Two. Coleraine has always been a great production line for highly talented and respected young swimmers down through the years.

Cookstown medley relay teams won three out of the eight races in this event with (A) Girls, (A) Boys and (D) Girls all touching first.

The Individual events began with the backstroke, where Cookstown collected five firsts. Two of these were one-twos from (A) Girls Hannah Haycock/Kelly Hunter and (A) Boys Thomas Heenan/Matthew McNeill. The other 3 firsts were from Conan Bradley, Aoife Hutchinson and Francis McElhatton. These results were achieved in formidable company, leaving the spoils evenly shared in this event.

In the breaststroke, Coleraine were always that bit sharper in the finishing five metres to get the touch in a lot of very closely fought races. Eye-catching performances from Matthew Mc Neill and Rebecca Lindsay saw them pick up important wins for their team.

The Butterfly event saw Cookstown chalk up 15PBs and winning this event by a slender 2 points margin, with (A) Girls, (B) Boys and (D) Girls all getting one-twos. It was nice to see Lisa Mc Guigan back for her first competitive race of the season, coming a respectable second to team mate Aoife Hutchinson. Also returning was Michael Crawley, making waves amongst the (D) boys. Hopefully returning soon also will be Aaron O Neill.

In the Front Crawl, Coleraine’s superior experience again paid off. However, an outstanding swim for Cookstown from (D) Girl Kendal Hunter earned a win in the girl’s side of the draw. The Cookstown boys fought hard, gaining 10 PBs out of a possible 12, however it was Coleraine that won the boy’s section by 6 points.

The Individual Medley proved to be the toughest event of the night, with every ounce of energy being consumed by both teams. They gave it everything, with some of the best faces of the night being kept for this event. Matthew McNeil and Conan Bradley’s never-say-die attitude helped them to tremendous wins for the boys. Not to be outdone, (C) Girls Helena McElhatton and Rebecca Lindsay gave everything in an in-house competition, with Rebecca shading this one on the touch to give Cookstown a one-two in the event.

As for (D) Girls Aoife Hutchinson and Jade Hunter, they threw up a similar contest in a tremendous race to produce another one-two for Cookstown.

Going into the Freestyle Relays, Coleraine had built up a lead of 36 points, leaving too much for Cookstown to claw back. Coleraine ran out eventual winners on a score line of 592 points to 533 points.

Nonetheless, on the night, Cookstown swimmers produced 66 PBs. Well done to all the swimmers