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Bethany Firth leads Ards to memorial trophy triumph

By David Kelly

Ards swimming club retained the Dave McCullagh Memorial trophy at the Aurora in Bangor last night after a weekend of eye-catching performances.

The quartet of Bethany Firth, Rebecca Reid, Emma Reid and Mary Kate McDowell capped their club's success with a dominant victory in the women's 4x100m IM relay. The win came just moments after their male counterparts had been declared gold medal winners after UCD were disqualified.

Paralympic gold medallist Firth gave Ards the ideal start to the final and they never looked back, winning in a new Ulster senior record of 4:26.25 - three seconds outside the Irish record.

Firth added to her 100m freestyle gold with a win in the 50m freestyle, winning in 26.37.

Firth's teammate Curtis Coulter won the men's event in 23.26. Firth and Ards co-captain Conor Munn then ended the evening by being presented with the meet's prestigious award for the top club.

Larne's Conor Ferguson set his fourth Irish junior record of the meet.

Having set records in the 50m and 100m, as well as the 200m heats, Ferguson won the 200m final in a new Irish junior best of 2:03.88 - over a second faster than the previous time that he had held from 2014, 2:05.25.

Lisburn's Bethany Carson picked up silver in the 200m individual medley, clocking 2:19.09, just behind gold medal winner Shani Stallard of UCD in 2:18.90.

Belfast Telegraph

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