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Dominant Devon land first National County Team Championships title

Dominant Devon sealed their first-ever National County Team Championships crown to end Yorkshire’s three-year reign as Division One title holders at Sheffield’s Ponds Forge.

After finishing runners-up in 2017 and third 12 months ago, Devon finally got their hands on the top prize.

They ended on 469 points after winning four and finishing runners-up in five other races.

That left them 30 points ahead of second-placed Northumberland and Durham and 31 clear of Kent, who were third.

One of the delighted Devon coaches, Glenn Currie, praised his team for their hard work yet fun approach to the championships.

He said: “We love this event – it’s awesome and a great bonding event for us.

“We come here and we have some fun. We try and race hard from the start of the season and it’s just a great experience for us all.

“We’ve tried a yo-yo team over the last few years and we’ve thought about how we can strengthen our team and its really paid off.

“Winning for me personally, is a great result. We said in our team meeting last night that we should just go have some fun, race hard and it’s worked.”

Relay triumph secures title

Devon had led at the halfway stage having claimed three race wins and four second places.

Honey Osrin won Devon’s first race, touching home in a personal best time of 1:01.47 in the Girls 16-17 Years 100m Backstroke.

Cameron Williams added to the opening session victory tally as he clocked 1:04.14 to win the Boys 14-15 Years 100m Breaststroke.

And the Boys 16-17 Years 200m Medley Relay team of Ra’Eez Warley, Filippo Coacci, Samuel Perks and Reid Jones also triumphed in 1:43.36 to boost Devon’s points total and give them a commanding lead at the interval.

Although they never looked like relinquishing their grip on top spot, they had to wait for their first victory after the break until the fourth from last race but it ultimately was enough to secure the title.

Osrin was joined by Lucia Grant, Olivia Marshall and Macy Lawrence as they touched home first in the Girls 16-17 Years 200m Medley Relay in a time of 1:54.68.

Despair for three of promoted counties

At the bottom of the table, three of the counties who won promotion from Division Two in 2018 were relegated.

Shropshire, Derbyshire and Cheshire all celebrated reaching the top flight 12 months ago but will be returning to Division Two for the 2020 competition.

Northants also finished in the bottom four to make up the quartet who dropped out of Division One.

Picture: Will Johnston Photography