Anyways we (The Young Ones, consisting of myself, Eric and Steve Fouracre) were sat in second spot, 3 points and ample weight difference behind The Sedges team, we were also 4 points ahead of Team Mosella. So to drop a position we needed to finish last on the day and Avalon to win.
To win overall we needed to either finish 3 points higher than Sedges plus make up a sizeable weight. OR finish 4 places higher than them ie they finish last on the day and we come 2nd or 1st. Neither scenario was likely but we would give it a bash.
I arrived in plenty of time, but ahead of my team-mates, there was only 1 draw left for us, this was the trio of pegs, 9, 21 and 35. Not the best selection but we had a job to do. I had peg 9, Steve on 35 and Eric up on the last peg on our bank, peg 21.
In my section was Vic Bush (p3), silvers ace John Fuidge (p6), Mike West (p11) and Jamie Cook of The Sedges on peg 13, so I had good, strong competition not top get 1 point rather than the hoped for section winning 5 points.
|Avalon peg 9.....|
A silvers rig for 7 and 14m just off centre in front of me. Lastly a carp rig for down to some reeds to my left and right along the marginal shelf, hooking them and getting any hooked may well be easier said than done!!
Bait was 8mm pellets, a bit of paste to fish the conker, some dead maggots, pinkies, corn, 6mm meat, bread and wetted micros. No groundbait after nobody really caught over it last weekend.
On the whistle I cupped in some corn and micros at 14m and some dead maggots and pinkies at 7m. Some meat and dead maggots went to the reeds to my right, some corn and micros against the reeds to my left.
Starting on the lead and a boring 90 minutes ensued. No fish, no liners, nothing. In fact Mike had one bite and lost a fish, Jamie had landed a couple small carp and John was soon catching a few silvers. I couldn't really see Vic, but I saw his landing net used a few times in this spell. At least it let the pole lines settle!!
Opposite I couldn't much happening except Mark Sweeting bagging a few from peg 37 and was way ahead of all those I could see. Steve (p35) and Phil Clapp (p39) were struggling.
I went out on the pole and after 5 or 10 minutes I had a smallish roach then a 2oz skimmer.
10 minutes more passed before I bumped a couple skimmers, I was using a number 6 elastic but felt I should change to a soft 4, so off the box and out with a new topkit and the rig transferred....I just hoped for no carp on this rig!!
It went quiet so I went back on the tip after re-feeding my pole lines.....Thirty minutes later I was back on the pole and I soon had a couple 1.5lb skimmers.
I spent the next 2 or 3 hours getting the odd skimmer and roach on the pole, swapping between the 7m and 14m lines. I could only get bites on single maggot or double pinkie.
Meanwhile John Fuidge was catching a few silvers and Mr West wasn't catching much. Jamie also wasn't catching anything either.
It was soon 2pm and I had a look down the left edge on a piece of corn. The float wobbled and I struck into a fish....but the carp was obviously intent on getting away and soon shed the hook somewhere behind the reeds. I pulled for the break and snapped the hook clean in half and shortened the pole float tip by 10mm, but it would still be fine. So on with another hooklength, tightened the elastic before going back out for skimmers. A 2lb fish was netted at about 2:30pm along with 2 or 3 fish of 4oz or so. But I did need a carp as I was sure Mike would get one, Jamie had 3 and John maybe was into double figures of silvers. Vic had the section tied up all bar a really late surge from one of us...!!
I spent until 3pm on the tip, fishless. This was around when Phil Clapp opposite me had a couple carp in quick succession....he had only 2 silvers to this point. Team-mate Steve had landed a good few skimmers from what I could gather, but couldn't judge how he was doing in his section, he was obviously behind Mark Sweeting but in front of Phil and the others in his section I am not sure.
At 3pm I went out on the long pole line and had 1 or 2 small fish, then picked up 1 or 2 small fish from the 7m line. A look down the right edge saw a couple of heart stopping moments when the float shot under, but alas all I bought back from that side was a couple 4oz rudd on double 6mm meat....greedy blighters.!!
As we got to 3:50 I looked down my left edge and another float shaking moment saw me hook a carp, thankfully I got it in and was around the 3lb mark, couple with my silvers I was certain to beat Mike, but unsure on Jamie (3 or 4 small carp) and John (13-15lb silvers?).
The all out was soon called and we all packed up.
I thought I had 8 or 9lb of silvers and the 3lb-ish carp.
I followed the scales, saw Vic put 36lb or so on the board the John's silvers weighed 11lb and ounces.
Then I weighed, my silvers went 12lb and ounces and my solitary carp was 4lb exactly, so 16lb+ for me. Mike had 1lb 3oz then Jamie had 10lb or so to complete our section. I managed 2nd in section, so my job done well enough.
I followed the scales but didn't pay too much attention, though Rich Coles had 14lb+ of silvers to overtake my silvers weight, Steve and Tom Magnall also had 11lb+ of silvers in their catches.
We were soon trying to figure out the results and The Sedges team were looking worried as they hadn't done too well on the day and looked to be last on a general tally of the points. What we couldn't figure out exactly was if The Young Ones had come 2nd or 3rd on the day, obviously 2nd would be better and could see un manage a minor miracle!!
Back at the hut Vic and Pete Wild sorted the points and payouts and the presentation was done.
It did turn out that Sedges were last on the day, but sadly my side came 3rd and equalled the points tally of the league leaders, obviously we never made up the weight difference.
As Vic called the results Keith, Phil and Jamie looked a touch nervous, but on the day it was a 6oz difference between 2 teams than saw The Sedges take the title for the 3rd year running. If Eric had 6oz more then he'd have had an extra point.....but he had a really good series anyways so we really cant pick straws as I am sure that we, and everyone who fished, could have gained an extra point here or there, and to find fault is not right, we did well to finish 2nd only by weight count back.
Results: (from memory, to be amended once results published)
1st, Mark Sweeting peg 37, 46lb-ish
2nd, Vic Bush peg 3, 36lb-ish
1st, Rich Coles, p33, 14lb
2nd, Lee Williams, p9, 12lb
Teams on the day:
1st, Somerset Carpenters
2nd, Mosella Uk
3rd, The Young Ones
4th, Fu Fighters
5th, The Sedges
2nd, The Young Ones (on weight countback)
3rd, Mosella Uk
4th, Somerset Carpenters
5th, Fu Fighters
1st, Tom Mangnall
So we did well in the end and took home a little money, lets hope we have more fish next year.
Next match for me may well be easter Monday, though I am not sire yet.
Until then, take care.