SWIMMING: HALTON'S Masters swimmers followed up their recent success at Bangor with another impressive display at the Chester Masters Open Meet.
Derek Booth, swimming in the men's 50-54 age group, almost had a clean sweep of first places in the 100m events. He won the backstroke, butterfly, free-style and medley races and took second place at breaststroke.
This outstanding performance gained him the overall gold. In the same age group, Ray Marshall took a fine second place for 100m freestyle.
Competition for overall medals was intense, particularly in the men's 25-29 age group where Halton brothers Andrew and Richard Jones battled it out.
Richard won the 50m backstroke with Andrew finishing third, before Andrew reversed the positions in the 50m free-style - finishing second with Andrew third.
Andrew finished third in the 100m IM as Richard came in fourth and then increased the 'lead' over his brother with third place for 50m butterfly, to finish second overall with Richard third overall. A great performance from them both.
Kevin Cromer continues to improve and finished third in the 35-39 100m breast-stroke, which should prove to be a strong event for him next year. Tony Gandy did likewise in the 40-44 division.
In the men's 45-49 age group, Frank Kilgannon gave a strong all-round dis-play to take second places for 50m back-stroke, freestyle and 100m butterfly.
Nikki Dand worked hard for third places in the 50m backstroke, 100m free-style and 100m medley, while Paula Mc-Nicholas showed great speed to take second place in the 50m freestyle.
Other good swims just outside the medals came from Sue Kilgannon, Roy Bellfield, Mal Balmer, Peter Flynn and Tim Ribton in another solid team performance.
Competition at the other end of the club's age spectrum - that for 9 to 12-year-olds - proved a tough challenge for Halton's youngsters, who had fought their way into the Echo Cup final at Everton Park.
Louise Wallbank, 12, gained the King-sway outfit's only first place with a good win in the 50m backstroke in 35.7.
But there were some great supporting swims, not least in the breaststroke.
Katie Scutt is developing well and stayed on strongly to take second place for the 10-year-olds' 50m breaststroke.
In the corresponding event for boys, James Flagherty also showed his commitment in battling for a good third place.
The 12-year-old girls' freestyle team of Louise Wallbank, Samantha Gold, Robyn Bright and Alice Byrne almost dipped under the minute mark with 1:01.7. But they could only manage fourth place, illustrating the level of competition in this tough final.
Strong swims came from Anna Navis, Sophie Cannon, Amy Anderson, Sarah Steele, Mark Allen, Paul Allen, Stephen Bailey, Matthew Heyes and Jack Steele.
Those making their debuts in this event will gain from the experience.
They included Lucy Wallbank, Samantha Kelly, Jade McDonnell, Georgina Musgrave, Ashley Holmes, Phillip Mills, Daniel McCormick, and Michael Matthews.