POOLE achieved the second-best National Arena League result in club history after finishing fifth in the Western Premier Division against some of the best teams in the country.

Their only better result was in 2011, when they were fifth in the final but fourth in the league table.

Poole were 23rd in the virtual gala involving the top six teams from the six leagues across England and Wales.

This helps to decide the 20 qualifiers for the national finals in April and barring any withdrawals, Poole will miss out by three places. The club's previous-best virtual gala result was 21st in 2011.

Against three of last year’s top four in the national showdown, wins proved elusive with only Charlie Meek taking maximum points in the 11/u 50m freestyle.

This was a high-scoring age group for Poole with second places from Meek in the backstroke and the freestyle relay team of Xav West, Liam Duffy, Max Looker and Meek, and thirds from Looker in the fly and breaststroke and Claire Stuhlmacher in the girls’ freestyle.

British junior champion Jacob Peters was second in the men’s 100m butterfly.

Other individual thirds came from Jazz McCrea in the women’s butterfly, Ben Cutbush (15/u fly) and Robbie Hemmings (13/u back).

Result: 1 Plymouth Leander 373, 2 Millfield 345, 3 City of Cardiff 334, 4 Swansea 266, 5 Poole 244, 6 United Bristol 232, 7 Exeter City 205, 8 City of Bristol 189.

Drew McGregor, Amy Brown and Jenson Harris were winners as Swim Bournemouth concluded their Arena League season with fourth place in the Premier Division mid-table final in Bristol.

McGregor won the 15/u 100m breaststroke, Brown the 13/u 100m backstroke and Harris the 11/u 50m backstroke.

The girls’ 13/u freestyle team added a fourth win.

Swim Bournemouth should finish 11th in the table when the results are confirmed.

Result: 1 Weston-super-Mare 165, 2 Soundwell A 158, 3 Keynsham 150, 4 Swim Bournemouth 141, 5 Bridgend 133.

Coach Martin Littlefair helped First Division Seagulls fend off relegation in convincing style with victory in the bottom six gala.

The former Bournemouth Dolphin swapped his tracksuit for a swimsuit to win the men’s 100m backstroke and freestyle in Bodmin.

Poppy Cordwell-Thompson triumphed in three events in two age groups – the 13/u and 15/u 100m backstroke and the 13/u butterfly.

George Gillet and Isaac Ellis were both double winners, Gillet in the 11/u 50m freestyle and fly and Ellis in the 13/u 100m back and fly.

The Christchurch club’s 22 race winners also included 15/u swimmers Jacob O’Hara (100m back) and James Richardson (100m breast), 13 and unders Sam Small (100m free) and Emily Latimore (100m breast), Edward Bell in the 11/u 50m back and Abbie Richardson in the women’s 100m freestyle.

The result places Seagulls 16th out of 21 clubs with the bottom three going down.

Tornadoes of South Dorset also survive after finishing second in Cornwall.

Result: 1 Seagulls 220, 2 Tornadoes 201, 3 Dawlish 190, 4 Bath Dolphin 175, 5 United Bristol B 187. Did not swim: Yeovil.

Poole’s new B team will join Seagulls in Division One next year after winning promotion at the first attempt.

They finished second in the Division Two final at Millfield to claim one of the three promotion places.

Result: 1 City of Newport 350, 2 Poole B 272, 3 Devonport Royals 251, 4 Backwell 219, 5 Academy ST Burnham 208, 6 Tiverton 175, 7 Chard 169, 8 Kingsbridge 149.