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Stockport's withdrawal hands Arena League finals debut to RTW Monson

The line-ups for the National Arena Swimming League finals have been given a reshuffle following the withdrawal of North West League champions Stockport Metro.

Stockport, winners of the national title in 1986, 2007 and 2011, have pulled out of the Cup Final at Cardiff on March 8 to concentrate on British Swimming’s Olympic trials the following month.

League secretary Ian Mackenzie said: “They wish to give their senior athletes a great chance at the trials so would not have a sufficient team to compete in Cardiff.”

The two beneficiaries of Stockport’s withdrawal are the South League’s Bromley and RTW Monson.

Bromley – eighth in the virtual gala that helps to decide the 20 qualifiers for the finals weekend – are promoted from the B Final on March 7 to the Cup Final the following day.

RTW Monson – 16th in the virtual gala – will make their finals debut as they replace Bromley in the B Final.

The Kent club’s head coach Graham Bassi said: “I’m thrilled to bits. Everyone at the club is thrilled.

“This was our first time in the South final and will be our first time in the national finals.

“We are going there to compete but we will also celebrate what has been achieved so far.”

The virtual gala results underlined a widening north-south divide, with the South, Western and London Leagues between them providing the top 14 in the virtual gala and 14 of the 20 A and B finalists.

UPDATED VIRTUAL GALA RESULTS

Cup Finalists

  • 1 Wycombe District (S*) 1,476
  • 2 Mount Kelly (W*) 1,458
  • 3 Guildford City (S**) 1,375
  • 4 Millfield (W**) 1,313
  • 5 Plymouth Leander (W) 1,286
  • 6 Teamipswich (L*) 1,256
  • 7 Hatfield (L**) 1,230
  • 8 Bromley (S) 1,225
  • 15 City of Peterborough (EM*) 1,025
  • 24 City of Coventry (WM*) 729

B Finalists

  • 9 City of Cardiff (W) 1,181
  • 10 Camden Swiss Cottage (L) 1,171
  • 11 Swansea Aquatics (W) 1,111
  • 12 Thanet (S) 1,083
  • 13 Chelsea & Westminster (L) 1,044
  • 14 City of Oxford (S) 1,028
  • 16 RTW Monson (S) 994
  • 18 City of Cambridge (EM**) 951
  • 22 Preston (NW**) 830
  • 30 Boldmere (WM**) 635

Non-finalists

  • 17 City of Milton Keynes (EM) 965
  • 19 Basildon & Phoenix (L) 940
  • 20 Stockport Metro (NW*) 873
  • 21 Hackney Aquatics (L) 851
  • 23 City of Salford (NW) 731
  • 25 Wigan BEST (NW) 703
  • 26 City of Norwich (EM) 694
  • 27 Southport (NW) 653
  • 28 Leamington Spa (WM) 643
  • 29 Warrington Warriors (NW) 635
  • 31 Torfaen Dolphins (W) 629
  • 32 Worcester (WM) 609
  • 33 West Suffolk (EM) 567
  • 34 Leicester Sharks (WM) 549
  • 35 Nottingham Leander (EM) 514
  • 36 City of Derby (WM) 340

*=league champions

**=league runners-up

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