The Swimming and Water Polo Club came into Roses with high hopes of securing points after an excellent season all round but Lancaster proved too strong as they swam to their first ‘redwash’ in over 5 years.
First up on the Saturday afternoon was the men’s and women’s swimming events, opening with the 4 x 50m medley relay. The women’s team of Jodie Alder, Ellie Griffin, Ellie Lavender and Becky Britten put in a great performance to win the first event and set the standard for the rest of the meet.
The men then followed suit, with the A team of Peter Schlichter, Sam Timpany, Victor Amara and Brandon Teo also finishing first. This seemed to ignite the Red Rose team however as they chalked up victories in the 100m individual medley, freestyle and butterfly. Alder and Schlichter stepped up in the 100m backstroke, both winning their events in impressive form. Confident, Griffin then won her 100m breaststroke race before Timpany edged out Chris Unsworth to grab first and second place in theirs.
Amara won the 50m butterfly before another victory for both Alder and Schlichter in the 50m backstroke. The meet went down to the final event of the afternoon, the 4 x 50m freestyle relay. The women needed to avoid either team finishing last to secure a win for the White Rose but touched home in 2nd and 4th to slip to the most slender of defeats. The men too were unable to turn the tide and Lancaster scooped all 8 points on offer. Captain Fiona Whiting said the team should be proud of taking the fight all the way. “We dominated the backstroke and the breaststroke which was amazing. It’s always sad to lose but we will definitely come back stronger next year!”
The water polo fixtures on Saturday evening are always a Roses highlight. The men were up first, coming off the back of a season with mixed results but still with an air of confidence that they might overcome their rivals. They held their own for the first two quarters with some excellent saves from keeper Young Gawthorpe and great outfield play by Timpany and Jack Jones. There was nothing between the two teams at the halfway point and they head into the third quarter tied at 6 – 6. Some forceful play from both sides and a contentious d
ecision left York without a key player. They kept pressing but eventually Lancaster found their way through and wrapped up their win.
York women had won their last four Roses encounters but injuries to key members of the women’s team, including to Whiting and captain Fran Falcini, meant the team headed into the session with a degree of trepidation. Their game started well with Beth Richards opening the scoring in her final game in York kit. The two teams traded the lead up until the halfway point then two goals apiece in the third quarter meant they went into the final one tied at 5-5 after some great work from substitute keeper Jenny Worrell. York edged ahead but were unable to hang on to their lead and Lancaster went home with another 8 points.
Captain Falcini was impressed with the performance of her team in the face of adversity. “Sarah Peacop and Beth Richards both played an absolute blinder in their last Roses and even without a full strength squad we still managed to make it a really tight game”. UYSWC President Michael Clifford felt the sportsmanship shown in the pool this year was great to see. “Unhappy as I might be that we lost, I was impressed by performances of the teams in both sports. The atmosphere at the pool was excellent. In previous years some of these events have been acrimonious but friendly competition is what Roses is all about”