POOLE'S 11 and under boys led the scoring as the club made a flying start to their National Arena League campaign at Plymouth.

They emerged ahead of Exeter City after a two-way scrap for second place to finish the Western Premier Division first round gala as runners-up behind high-flying Plymouth Leander.

Plymouth, now led by former Poole head coach Robin Armayan, have been national champions seven times in the past 10 years.

Poole’s 11/u boys’ team of Zack Studley, Liam Duffy, Charlie Meek and Max Looker won both their relays with Meek also first in the individual 50m freestyle and Looker second in the backstroke and butterfly.

Men’s captain Jacob Peters showed a touch of the class that took him to world junior finals in August, winning the men’s 100m butterfly in 53.60 and coming second in the 100m freestyle (50.97).

Ben Cutbush added a fifth win in the 13/u 100m breaststroke (1:09.99).

European junior semi-finalist Jazz McCrea achieved a hat-trick of second places – in the 100m butterfly and freestyle and 200m individual medley.

Oli Fairman, one of a dozen swimmers who have moved to Poole in the wake of former Swim Bournemouth head coach Emma Richards’ departure, broke 60 seconds for the first time to come second in the 15/u 100m backstroke in 58.79.

Other individual runners-up included Izzy Hepburn in the 15/u 100m breaststroke and Amy Gooch and Robbie Hemmings in the 13/u girls’ and boys’ 100m backstroke.

Head coach Barry Alldrick said: “Second place was a strong result that the club can be proud of.”

Result: 1 Plymouth Leander 280, 2 Poole 200, 3 Exeter 195, 4 City of Bristol 143, 5 Weston-super-Mare 119, 6 Swindon Dolphin 110.

• Amy Brown led the scoring as a young Swim Bournemouth team achieved third place in their Premier Division opening fixture at Exeter.

The 13-year-old won the 100m breaststroke and backstroke in her own 13/u age group before stepping up to win the 15/u breaststroke.

Other winners were Alan Szczasiuk in the 13/u 100m breaststroke, Freddie Hodgetts in the 11/u 50m butterfly and the 13/u boys’ medley and freestyle team of Szczasiuk, Ryan Harper, Matthew Workman and Milo Treloar.

Millie Sleeman achieved two second places. Other individual runners-up were Hodgetts, Szczasiuk, Treloar, Jenson Harris, Alex Palotai-Avella and Drew McGregor.

Coach Sam Woodward said: “This was a positive result for a young team. With Matt Heathcock arriving as head coach next month, it is the start of a rebuilding period.

“Most of the team were swimming a year young, giving them experience and exposure as we look to the future.”

Result: 1 City of Cardiff 272, 2 United Bristol 192, 3 Swim Bournemouth 170, 4 Street 152, 5 West Wilts Force 5 132, 6 Torfaen Dolphin 129.

• Race wins proved elusive as Seagulls came fifth in their Division One first round gala at Newport.

Second places went to Sam Small in the 15/u 100m butterfly and freestyle, Ed Bell in the 11/u 50m backstroke and Lawrence Elliott in the 13/u 100m breaststroke.

Result: 1 Mount Kelly 336, 2 City of Cardiff B 239, 3 RCT Performance 222, 4 Swansea B 191, 5 West Dorset 153, 6 Seagulls 139, 7 Dawlish 117.