We all expected the last match of the Angling Trust East Midland Winter league to produce an exciting finish to the series, writes Ken Wade.
But I don’t think anyone could have predicted the final outcome, which saw three teams topping the match on the same points and a single section win putting one of them into the grand final.
On a difficult day on some of the sections Sensas Mark One, Browning Hotrods and Stanjay Gold all put in very respectable score cards, which saw them all on 29 points. On section count-backs it was the Mark One White team that took the honours on the day, with Hotrods second and crucially Stanjay Gold in third place. That meant Browning Hotrods took the league honours with 11 points, and a very comfortable victory it was too. All eyes were then on who would come second and join them in the final as both Stanjay Gold and Maver Image both had a league total of 16 points. After long deliberation they could only be separated by just one section win throughout the series and Maver Image clambered through to the final. The points and scores throughout the series will be ratified midweek, but it does look as if Stanjay Gold have missed out.
On the individual front Dan Jones stole the show with a net of tench taken from the Benwick section, putting a fine 20lb 7oz net to the scales. Runner-up from Raveley was Andy Leathers with 19lb 8oz, closely followed by Gary Miller on 19lb 6oz.
Winter arrived at the weekend but the Tydd Gote midweek match was fished in better conditions, John Taylor once again out in front with a fine 21lb 2oz net of skimmers taken on worm and caster. Runner-up with 15lb 7oz was Don Green, then came Alan Lemmon with 13lb 4oz.
Sunday’s match on the North Level Drain saw weights well below par. Paul Bawden topped the field with 5lb 5oz and two anglers tied on 3lb 14oz for second place – Dick Paul and Colin Burton.
With torrential rain and high winds on Saturday it was no wonder anglers struggled for bites in the regular Rookery Waters open on the Magpie Pool. Using bread and maggots on a short pole line Nigel Swallow made no mistake in qualifying first time for the two-day final in March. He caught carp to 3lb from peg 31 to finish with 43lb 10oz. Tony Dawson came second on 39lb 14oz, followed by Vince Easy with 27lb 8oz.
It was no better in the Wednesday over 60’s match which saw Dave Lack taking the top spot with a modest 12lb 12oz. He caught a few silvers and a couple of carp on maggot. Runner-up was Will Hadley on 11lb 2oz, followed by Kevin Peacock on 10lb.
Over on the Townsend Lakes Fishery the Kingfisher Pool was used for the Sunday open match. Ashley Kinsey put 39lb 6oz to the scales from peg 17, fishing pellet on the long pole over groundbait. Runner-up was Steven Hillman on a level 25lb. He caught skimmers on the pole, then it was Colin Begbie in third with 20lb 12oz.