KNUTSFORD Vikings defied expectation last week when they finished fourth in the final National Arena League round of the campaign.

Head coach Simon Pickering praised a squad depleted by absences for their perseverance and stamina during the North West Minor Division showpiece at Ellesmere Port.

He said: “Our swimmers rolled up their sleeves and put in some great individual performances.

“Some raced more often than they had planned, while others swam against older rivals in a higher age-group category.

“We knew it would be a challenge with a number of regulars unavailable, but they should all be proud of their efforts because they contributed to an excellent overall result.”

Knutsford had classified fourth in each of the two previous meets this season, which marked their return to the National Arena League after a year out.

Vikings turn their attention next to the Cheshire County Championships, which start on Saturday, January 20.


National Arena Swimming League

North West Minor Division final: 1. Flixton 233pts; 2. Altrincham 217; 3. Whitchurch Wasps 178; 4. Knutsford Vikings 133; 5. Ellesmere Port 132; 6. Sandbach Sharks 133; 7. Nantwich Seals 101.