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Ards dominance shows strength in depth, says Lindsay

By David Kelly

Nelson Lindsay has hailed the "great band of coaches" at Ards Swimming Club following their impressive start to the new season.

Voted the Swim Ireland Club of the Year last season, the Ards team of Conor Munn, Curtis Coulter, James Brown, Mathew Scott, Sam Manley and Morgan Berryman kicked off the 2015-16 campaign by extending their decade-long dominance of the prestigious War Memorial Shield 6x50 freestyle relay at Bangor Aurora at the weekend.

The men's freestyle race turned out to be a thriller with Bangor leading at the halfway mark but as they took off for the final 50 metres, Coulter edged ahead of fellow Commonwealth Games swimmer Jordan Sloan to take victory.

Their girls team also scorched to victory in the 4x50m freestyle and medley relays in two new Irish senior records.

In addition, Lindsay was voted the Ulster Coach of the Year.

The girls team of sisters Emma and Rebecca Reid, Bethany Firth and Zoe Thompson were simply outstanding and the latest success for the club - which has 10 swimmers on the Ireland squad and 20 in the Ulster squad - comes ahead of the Ulster short championships this weekend.

Lindsay said: "It was great to see us hold on once more to the War Memorial Shield and the girls quartet produced two great performances.

"Overall the club has good strength in depth, we have swimmers right down through the age groups who are looking very strong. I have to say that it would not be possible without the great band of coaches who look after the young ones before they come into the senior squad.

"It was nice to pick up the coaching award but I must point out that this year my assistant in the senior squad, Davy Johnston, picked all the relay teams and he is doing a great job for the club - we're lucky to have him."

The Under-14 girls won the 4x50 medley relay and the Under-12s the 4x50m free relay.

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