KNUTSFORD’S swimmers were rewarded for their persistence when they claimed a team title last weekend.

Vikings came out on top in a battle for top spot in the National Arena League’s North West Minor Division at the end of a dramatic night of competition in the final at Connah’s Quay.

They initially had to console themselves with finishing second behind City of Chester by a solitary point.

However their rivals were found to have broken a competition rule and their adjusted total promoted Vikings to first place in the standings.

“We travelled home as gallant runners-up and thought that was it,” said head coach Phillip James.

“Our swimmers, as always, swam their hearts out and I really couldn’t have asked for any more from them.”

Knutsford maintained a slender lead throughout in North Wales and their consistency in the relay events set them apart from their rivals.

In eight races, they ranked inside the top two on six occasions.

Three of those – mixed under 11s 4x50m medley, open mixed 4x50m medley and mixed under 15s 4x50m freestyle – ended in victory.

There were also nine individual wins.

It represents a marked improvement on 2017, when they were fourth.

James said: “We’ve taken a big step forward from last year, and that will stand us in good stead moving forward.

“It was a very tough competition and there was nothing between us and Chester all night.

“I’m proud of every swimmer that represented us across all three rounds – they were superb.”

Knutsford pipped their rivals in the first meeting back in October before Chester took victory in the second.

They turn attention now to next month’s Cheshire County and Age Group Championships in Macclesfield.


National Arena League

Saturday, December 8

North West Minor Division


At Connah's Quay

1, Knutsford Vikings 186pts

2, City of Chester 185

3, Sandbach Sharks 151

4, Nantwich Seals 125

5, Whitchurch 107

6, Ellesmere Port 82