Kendal’s swimming team opened its defence of the Cumbria Diddy League Championship with a trip to Barrow to compete in the first round of this year's competition against the local team plus teams from Ulverston and Carnforth.

The opening quarter saw Kendal swimmers produce some solid performances with Isabelle Wall-Budden, Alex Walton, Rebecca Fisher, Joshua Holmes, Eve Atkinson, Joseph Bulman, Eleanor King, Finlay Wood, Elissa Kinley, Austin Woodburn, Grace Irving and Leo Murray, all combining brilliantly.

The relays provided particular excitement. Some individual swims brought more valuable points with Fisher swimming out of her skin to come second in the nine years 50 breaststroke.

Another brilliant second place went to the 11-year-old girls squad of Kate Collin, Emma Duxbury, Eve Atkinson and Charlotte Stainer in the freestyle relay.

The session finished with three fantastic wins and maximum points with Bulman, Walton, Mathew Foster and Idris Morgan walking the 11 years boys' Rrelay, followed by superb wins from Annie Botttomley and Woodburn at breaststroke.

Kendal found themselves in second place, two points behind Carnforth.

The next session kept Kendal right in the mix and battling it out for the lead with the very strong Carnforth team.

Fine swims from nine years medley combinations of Ava Saunders, Issi Sanderson, Leo Murray, Max Whitehead, Rebecca Fisher, Eleanor King, Lissi McClure and Jed Tansley scored well. Then 11-year-olds Wall-Budden and Mathew Foster completely blew away the opposition in the 50 backstroke for magnificent wins.

More success came the team's way from the backstroke and freestyle relays. Taking them up to the halfway mark Atkinson and Foster, who was at his brilliant best, surged through the field at 50 breaststroke to put Kendal in the lead by one point ahead of Carnforth, leaving Ulverston and Barrow chasing hard.

The third session proved to be something of a mixture of fortune for Kendal where, despite the team putting in some fine efforts, they didn’t quite match their earlier success.

Murray, Atkinson and Bulman all had to settle for second places, but their best result came from 10-year-old girls' medley squad. Anna Roberts led them out at backstroke and built a lead that Elissa Kinley hung onto at breaststroke. Annie Bottomley then forged ahead at butterfly and anchor Sophie Robinson used all her power and freestyle skills to bring them home for a brilliant win.

However, Carnforth retook the lead with an almost unassailable 10-point margin. But Kendal went on the attack with a vengeance, raising tension in the final quarter to its highest level.

They struck with four straight wins in a row, two from the 11-year-old medley swimmers and outstanding 50 butterfly wins from Roberts and Woodburn.

King and Murray kept the pressure on followed by Wall-Budden and Bulman at freestyle, who moved up a gear and burned off the opposition to take brilliant wins.

Closing with the Cannon Relay the final result was hanging in the balance but it was Carnforth who emerged as winners with Kendal runners up.

With the northern clubs competing at Copeland in the other half of the competition the combined results put Kendal in second place behind head of the table Carlisle Aquatics.