ULVERSTON Otters have been crowned Cumbria Diddy League swimming champions once again after a six-year hiatus.

The resurgent team triumphed over Kendal, with last year’s victors, Carlisle, relegated to third place.

Held annually, the Diddy League provides swimmers aged nine to 11 with an introduction to competitive events through a series of galas. These involve eight Cumbrian swimming clubs – Barrow, Kendal, Copeland, Workington, Carlisle, Cockermouth, Penrith and Ulverston.

For the opening round the competition is split into two, geographically determined. Ulverston were involved in the southern tournament, along with Barrow, Penrith and Kendal, who hosted the event.

In a hard-fought battle Ulverston were victorious, edging Kendal into second place, with Barrow third.

It was a superb team effort from the Otters, book-ended by wins in the single sex cannons, which comprise of two swimmers from each of the three age categories, and the highlight of the Diddy programme, the mixed cannon.

Reserved for the fastest girl and boy across each of the three age groups, the Otters were represented by nine-year-olds Maize Scales and Isaac Tizard, 10-year-olds Felicity Boyle and Ethan Allpress, while returning Diddy captains, 11-year-olds Amelia Mardel and Louis Jones, anchored the girls and boys legs respectively.

The Otters dominated the cannon from start to finish: the double points gained sealing a fabulous victory, which included a fantastic tally of 14 firsts to Kendal’s six. Meanwhile at the northern round, perennial victors, Carlisle, despite appearing vulnerable, were strong enough to come out top of their group.

However, once the results were amalgamated, Carlisle’s victory was only good enough for third place in the league.

It was the Otters who held a narrow advantage over Kendal setting up a dangerous second round contest against Carlisle while Kendal travelled to Penrith.

Ceding the home advantage in round two, the Otters held their nerve against a determined onslaught from Carlisle with the final event, the mixed cannon, once again proving to be pivotal.

Fielding the same squad as in Kendal, the Otters once again reigned supreme securing a memorable win both in the cannon and in the league overall: an achievement which will see the Karen Bowes’ Cumbria Diddy Trophy returned to its namesake’s home pool for the first time since 2011.

Otters are delighted to once again be crowned as Cumbria Diddy League County Champions, the whole team, including reserves, proving a credit to the club in the way that they performed.

The Otters are delighted, in partnership with GLL, to have secured further pool time, ensuring that they can now offer an optimal amount of training to each squad, up to a very impressive 16 hours a week for the top squad.

l Anyone from the age of six interested in joining the Otters can contact them directly on cboyle@uasc.me.uk or via the website www.uasc.me.uk