POOLE came second to a star-studded City of Cardiff team at Millfield to reach next month’s National Arena League West final for the second year running.

The Dorset club are currently fifth in the Premier Division table behind Millfield, Cardiff, Plymouth Leander and Swansea, all four of whom were among the 20 national finalists earlier this year.

But neighbours Swim Bournemouth look set to miss out on the final for the first time after their third place at Weston-super-Mare.

They are level on league points with Soundwell but the Bristol club will claim the eighth and final place in the final by just 14 gala points.

Poole waited 11 events for their first win, then – like the proverbial London buses – three came along at once with Lara Johnston-Trow and Finley Chandler winning the girls’ and boys’ 10/u 50m backstroke and Holly Harris the 13/u 100m breaststroke.

It was the first of three wins for Johnston-Trow, who went on to take the 50m freestyle before leading 9-11yrs medley relay team-mates Lorna Webb, Sheila Monera and Zoe Steele to victory.

Ryan Openshaw added a fourth win in the youngest age group as he took the 50m butterfly in a PB of 33.98.

Jazz McCrea was also a double winner in the 15/u 100m freestyle and 100m butterfly.

British junior champion Jacob Peters, 16, claimed the scalp of Cardiff’s Commonwealth Games swimmer Xavier Mohammed to win a men’s 100m butterfly thriller in which the first three appeared to touch simultaneously.

Fiona Hardie secured the first of a string of second places for Poole as she came second to Cardiff’s Rio Olympic breaststroke finalist Chloe Tutton in the women’s 200m individual medley (IM).

Poole coach Barry Alldrick said: “This was a great team performance. Our swimmers delivered consistently.”

Result: City of Cardiff 260, Poole 213, Soundwell 189, Nofio Sir Gar 146, United Bristol 145, Salisbury 99.

  • Swim Bournemouth faced a tough challenge against Millfield and Swansea and were hampered by two disqualifications and the absence of four senior swimmers at the British University Championships.

Ella Bowman was their only winner in the 13/u 100m freestyle but there were six runners-up, including Jess Richens in the women’s 100m butterfly and Mark Sidorenko in the men’s 100m freestyle.

Second places also went to Saskia Van Der Schouw in the 11/u 50m breaststroke, Drew McGregor in the 13/u 100 butterfly and the boys’ 13/u and girls’ 15/u medley teams of Archie Corbin, Alan Szczasiuk, Drew McGregor and Milo Treloar and Fran Gallimore, Abby Manns, Maddie Warmer and Issy Hepburn.

Coach Emma Richards said: “There was a great team atmosphere and we saw a lot of improvements from round one.”

Result: Millfield 269, Swansea 222, Swim Bournemouth 163, Keynsham 149, Street 142, Severnside 100.

  • Seagulls booked their place in the Division One final after a second consecutive second place at Millfield.

The Christchurch club’s seven winners included Kayla van der Merwe in the 15/u 100m breaststroke, Miles Ward in the 13/u 100m butterfly and Edward Jaszek in the 11/u 50m breaststroke.

They also won four relays – the girls’ 15/u freestyle (Holly Jaszek, Rosie Glyde, Sarah Rogers, van der Merwe), boys’ 15/u medley (Louis Goldsack, James Richardson, Taylor Eeles, Max Weeks), boys’ 13/u freestyle (Sam Small, Isaac Ellis, Miles Ward, Kai Weeks) and boys’ 11/u medley (Ollie Burroughs, Lawrence Elliott, Edward Jaszek, Freddie Fox).

Result: Torfaen 269, Seagulls 230, West Dorset 217, Cirencester 212, RCT 205, Tornadoes of South Dorset 148, Chard 115.