WEYMOUTH are the new champions of the Dorset Novice League – but Poole staged a dramatic bid to retain the title they have won five times in the last six years.

The Poole Black team followed up their round two victory with another win in a thrilling eight-lane final at Littledown, beating runners-up Wareham and District by two points.

This took them to 33 league and bonus points for the season and brought them level with Weymouth, who were third in the final 11 points behind.

But Weymouth claimed their first title by just six gala points, reaping the reward of a consistent campaign which included second and first places in rounds one and two.

Poole Black meanwhile paid the price a lacklustre first round performance, when they finished sixth and last to earn only one league point.

Wareham’s second place at Littledown moved them from seventh to third in the league table while Seagulls’ fourth place raised them one place to fourth.

North Dorset Turbos won the four-team B final at Dorchester with the Poole Yellow team second.

Round 3 results: At Littledown: 1 Poole Black 193, 2 Wareham 191, 3 Weymouth 182, 4 Seagulls 176, 5 West Dorset 174, 6 Blandford 168, 7 Tornadoes of South Dorset 162, 8 Clayesmore 149.

At Dorchester: 1 North Dorset Turbos 120, 2 Poole Yellow 110, 3 Bassett JSF 81, 4 Bridport Barracudas 80.

Final table: 1 Weymouth 33, 2 Poole Black 33, 3 Wareham 31, 4 Seagulls 29, 5 West Dorset 28, 6 Tornadoes 25, 7 Blandford 21, 8 Clayesmore 21, 9 Poole Yellow 13, 10 North Dorset Turbos 13, 11 Bridport Barracudas 10, 12 Bassett JSF 9.

• Izzy Hepburn and Thea O’Keefe both struck gold to top a four-medal haul for Poole swimmers at the Rushmoor Royals Distance Meet.

The Aldershot meet provided a rare opportunity for girls to swim a long-course 1500m freestyle and boys to compete over 800m.

Hepburn produced a fine last 500m to win the 15yrs 1500m in 18:35.11.

O’Keefe won the 17 and over gold in 18:42.02.

Teagan-Mae Graham was faster than both of them, moving from eighth to third over the last 1,000m in her heat to record a time of 18:13.40 and collect the 16yrs bronze medal.

Aimie Quarrie, 13, and Holly Harris, 14, enjoyed a titanic battle in heat three to finish within two seconds of each other and break the 20-minute barrier at the first attempt with times of 19:21.30 and 19:22.71 respectively.

In the boys’ 800m freestyle, Ryan Openshaw grabbed the 13yrs silver medal with a time of 18:42.02.

Other 800m results: Ben Cutbush 15yrs 9:43.24, Liam Openshaw 14yrs 9:44.66.