KENDAL’S newly promoted swimming team travelled to Darwin to open its account in this year's first round of the North Lancashire Sub League.

Drawn against teams from Carnforth, Preston, Blackpool, Chorley, Leyland, Clitheroe and Accrington, they found the standard of swimming really high and had to work hard to gain valuable points.

Opening the individual events with the 12/under 50 freestyle sprints, Isabelle Wall-Budden and Lennon Bell got them away to a great start, which gave their teammates a real boost.

Off the blocks, both quickly found their rhythm and got into a position for success. Immaculate turns kept them well in the mix and Wall-Budden produced another injection of pace to finish in third place whilw Bell hit the finish in fourth.

Three swimmers, Joseph Bulman, James Escolme and Lucy Sargeant, all butterfly specialists, pulled out all the stops in the 50m sprints.

Off the blocks they got brilliant starts and quickly placed themselves in positions where they could make strong challenges over the last length. They then matched their stroke pattern with perfectly-timed finishes, with all three taking valuable points from fourth places.

Kendal’s most outstanding performance came from Chloe Westmorland in the 12/Uyrs 50 breaststroke.

She, too, got a great start and out of transition soon got into her rhythm and found herself challenging for the lead. Holding her nerve and refusing to panic she matched the leaders, stroke for stroke.

An immaculate turn into the final length put her on the road to success and, calling on her reserves, she came through to take a well-earned second place.

Another breaststroker, Mathew Gibson, also produced a swim to be proud of, showing great technique coupled with superb talent, competing in the 50 breaststroke sprint. Using all his experience he took it on over the first length and put pressure on his opponents and saved his exertions for the final length.

Out of his turn the pressure was on and with a supreme effort he stormed into the finish to gain good points in fourth place.

More valuable points were gained from highly placed individual performances from Jake Gibson and Elise Tallon at backstroke and Adam Stansfield, who continues to put in star performances at freestyle.

As usual the relays produced some really exciting events with Kendal’s 12/Uyrs medley teams particularly outstanding.

Elise Tallon (backstroke) led out the girls and put them in a strong position, followed by Chloe Westmorland (breaststroke), who held their position and handed over to the powerful Evelyn Atkinson (butterfly).

A highly competent swim from her enabled anchor Isabelle Wall-Budden to bring her freestyle talent into play and storm home in fourth place.

The boys' event produced a similar result with Jake Gibson getting them off to a great start at backstroke. Mathew Gibson’s breaststroke kept the team well in contention and with Bulman’s butterfly following it gave anchor Lennon Bell the opportunity to burst out of his takeover and storm into a perfectly timed finish for more fifth place points.

They were also in fearsome form in the freestyle relays with Eve Murray and Mathew Foster coming into the group.

Wall-Budden and Bell were charged with leading out and setting the pace. Tallon, Foster, Atkinson and Jake Gibson held it together, leaving Murray and Bulman to finish in fifth place.

Pleasing results and magnificent support from the other team members ensured Kendal finished in a very respectable sixth place with 121 points. Having gained promotion last year, another couple of rounds like that to stay up in Division 1 next year would be great for the club.