Nomads make early impression in Arena League

The Fareham Nomads squad
The Fareham Nomads squad
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Fareham Nomads Swimming Club (FNSC) enjoyed a speedy start to the first round of their 2015 Arena League division one east campaign.

The club competed against teams from Maxwell, Alton & District, Newbury, Littlehampton and newly-promoted Chalfont Otters – finishing the first meet in second place.

For the first time ever in this league the team were sponsored by Metis Homes of Winchester.

And not only were the swimmers keen to improve on last year’s mid-table position of 10th, they were also very keen to impress their new sponsor.

Stewart Crowe, head coach at FNSC, said: ‘Many of the team were competing at this level of competition for the first time.

‘However, it was the experience of the senior swimmers that dominated for the Fareham Nomads.

‘A clean sweep of seven wins from their events was very impressive and does not occur that often in events of this type.’

Chris Finch and Jamie O’Donnell led the way with wins in the 200m individual medley and 100m freestyle, recording times of 2.13.87 and 53.86 respectively.

O’Donnell then doubled up in the 100m butterfly with a time of 56.96 and dominated the 100m breaststroke, recording figures of 1.04.51.

Assistant coach John Molyneaux chipped in with the final win in the 100m backstroke in a time of 59.98.

He was joined in the relays by Matthew Riley, Clive Marquis and, returning to the league since first competing in it some 20 years ago, Will Felgate.

More double success was achieved by 18-year-old Jessica Davies, who won both the 100m backstroke and freestyle events in times of 1.03.05 and 59.33.

Stewart added: ‘At the halfway point of a very close and exciting gala the Nomads were in second place – 14 points behind Maxwell but only one point ahead of newbies Chalfont Otters and a further four points ahead of Newbury.’

The only other individual winner for the club was Daisy Ireland in the 100m butterfly.

More relay success came from the ladies’ open 6x50m freestyle relay squad of Jess Davies, Noemie Peignon, Xanthe West, Laura Molyneaux, Alice Moyse and Isabella Talbot.

Adding to the points tally with second place finishes were Alex Finch, Ellen Jewell, Matthew Sullivan and Edward Hollands.

Nomads warmed up to their league outing by competing in numerous other events, including their own club championships.

Crowe added: ‘In many respects this was one of the most successful championships held for many years, with swimmers amassing a total of 922 swims, gaining 657 personal-best times and most importantly achieving 179 qualifying times.

‘This is great credit to the swimmers and the coaching staff at the club, gaining so much so early in the season.’