Over the past few years more and more teams have dropped out of the big match scene to concentrate on more local events, usually for teams of three, four or five.
However one or two clubs still enter what some still consider the main team event of the year, the Angling Trust Division One national.
This year we had two teams involved, Sensas Mark One and Holbeach, fishing on a very difficult New Junction Canal at Doncaster, not a great venue nor a very fair one.
But both teams did well not only to survive the drop into Division Two, but in fact considering the opposition, did rather well.
Sensas Mark One put some time in on the water and it paid off with a very respectable 15th, while Holbeach yet again defied the odds and claimed 47th place.
Quite a few local anglers fished the penultimate round of the popular King of the Fens League on the North Level Drain at Tydd Gote, a venue that fished really well once again.
Top rod was Sensas Mark One skipper John Bates with an excellent 80lb 10oz. John drew at Raisin Bridge and fished a small groundbait feeder over to the far side catching 22 good bream and a net of skimmers on a red maggot and worm cocktail.
Steve Clarke, at the opposite end of the match length, finished with 63lb 10oz of bream all taken on the long pole with worm.
Image took the team honours with an excellent 14-point score, but with just one round left Maver Bait Tech Purple are all but home and dry with a 10 point cushion.
Result: 1 J Bates, Sensas Mark One, 80lb 10oz; 2 S Clarke, Maver Image, 63lb 10oz; 3 B Gibson, FM Stanjay, 25lb; 4 B Bates, Sensas Mark One, 24lb 12oz; 5 S Colclough, Maver Image, 21lb 15oz; 6 I Benton, FM Stanjay, 20lb 13oz.
Teams: 1 Image Ladies, 14pts; 2 Sensas Mark One White, 19; 3 Maver Purple, 20; 4 FM Stanjay Silver, 23; 5 FM Stanjay Gold, 25; 6 Garbolino Lincs County, 26.
League: 1 Maver Purple, 13pts; 2 Image Ladies, 23; 3 Maver Bait Tech Gold, 27; 4 Sensas Mark One Old Boys, 29; 5 FM Stanjay Gold, 30; 6 Maver Bait Tech Grey, 34
In the Tuesday evening match held at Blackdyke Dave Parlett took the honours with a net of skimmers taken with worm weighing 7lb 4oz. Andy Greenwood came second on 6lb 11oz followed by Mick Asker with 3lb 15½ oz.
Thursday’s match on the same venue saw Colin Gibbons fish the whip and pinkie for a level 8lb to take the top spot.
The consistent Parlett came in second with 7lb 1oz followed by Andy Greenwood with 5lb 7½oz. Sunday’s club match saw Paul Constable run out a comfortable winner putting 14lb 13oz to the scales, a net of skimmers taken on maggot. Carol Davies came second on 12lb 4½oz followed by Steve Pell with 11lb 15oz.
Once again there were no big fish showing on a very clear Forty Foot Drain but plenty of small fish to ensure most had bites.
Top rod with 4lb 4oz was Steve Newell followed by John Roper with 2lb 9oz and Chris Burton on 1lb 11oz.
Fenland Rods fished the Jay Lake at Rookery Farm Pidley on Sunday and in windy conditions Dave Garner made it two wins on the trot.
Dave fished meat close in and down the middle to finish with 58lb 9½oz from peg 29. Tim Bates second with 56lb 2½oz, Mac Campbell third 54lb 8oz.
Local rod Ray Sladden proved once again to be the master of pellet waggler fishing on the match pool at Fields End Water Fishery, Doddington.
In the latest OAP match he crashed out a fine 100lb weight from peg 23 for another easy win. Runner-up was Les Palmer with 67lb 12oz followed by Don Burn on 56lb 4oz.
On Sunday Leverington AC had their fixture on the same lake. Difficult, windy conditions made it hard to present the bait, but old hand Bryan Lakey made light work of it, finishing well clear of the field on 67lb 12oz.
Bernie Pennington came second with 38lb 8oz followed by Tom LIoyd on 32lb 8oz.
This continues to fish really well, in fact the Tuesday evening event on the Cuckoo Canal saw Matt Sheldrake break the evening match record with a fine 181lb 12oz net from peg 3.
Colin Begbie came second on 154lb followed by Andy Adams on 131lb 8oz. Saturday’s open match on Kingfisher saw the consistent Adams out in front with a level 66lb, Keith Westerley came second on 54lb 10oz followed by Harry Morgan with 45lb 10oz.
Back on the Canal for Sunday’s match and Tony Dawson took the top spot with 93lb 6oz, then Adams with 82lb and Dave Rodwell with 81lb 8oz.
A good midweek match on the Horseshoe Pool on the Decoy Lakes complex, Trevor Cousins netting carp to 5lb on a pellet waggler to finish top with 96lb. Peter Spriggs caught on paste and pellet to net 71lb 8oz followed by Bryan Lakey with 58lb.