Beler Marlins win gala but come second overall as time penalties cost them dear

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In the final round of the Four Towns Gala at Leek the Belper Marlins had a lot to do to make up enough points to win the competition.

In the previous rounds a lot of the children had been disqualified from their races by swimming too fast.

They fell victim to the ‘speeding ticket rule’, which like a handicap in horse racing, gives a cut off time that children must be over.

This stops teams putting in their elite squads and gives not only younger swimmers a chance, but also levels out the playing field.

Unfortunately Belper’s younger swimmers were still too fast for the competition.

The aim was therefore to win as many races as possible without getting caught speeding by the ‘pool police’ with stopwatches. And this is exactly what they did!

Race after race the Marlin’s came home, within the time, but in the lead.

Young swimmers showed that the club had strength in depth. In the final point count of the gala Belper won with 129 points, which was a massive 33 points clear of their nearest rival.

However over the whole competition Belper (with a total of 441 points) received the runners up shield to Leek (with 448 points) who were chased down but unfortunately not caught.

The gap was just a little too much from the speeding tickets accrued earlier in the completion.

But Belper are confident that they will be able to go one stage better next year as long as they avoid any time penalties.