This match was originally scheduled for 4th March, but the Beast from the East arrived and covered most of the country with snow, the decision - and I feel the correct one - was taken to postpone the league and reschedule for this week. It meant a clash with the Landsend league and that meant I had to pull out, I don't like doing this to organisers and don't do it lightly, but Ken understood the team match had to take precedent.
Thankfully the rest of the team could all make it, so we had to hope for a decent draw and performance to at least hang on to our 4th place and hopefully improve it. Fred had gentle leverage applied to get him to draw again, as there are a couple of very dodgy drawing arms in the team, he was 2nd in the tub and we ended with a bit of a mixed bag.
Mark - 110 - he wasn't disappointed!
Me - 76 - not running to it, but thought I 'd catch
Paul 103 - thought he'd do OK from here
Glenn - 40 - its not got a huge pedigree, but had chucked up good points in a previous round
Fred - 2 - always a chance of a carp and a few silvers from here, with Fred on it, it should be worth a few points
The last two years I have been on Cary on the last match, it's been a disaster and I haven't caught a carp, which to get reasonable points is a must, hoping not to make it 3 in a row. So today, I arrived at the peg and the tree that was to the right has been taken out, so no feature and a cold easterly, occasionally swinging to southerly blowing into my bank. I was pretty certain the waggler would be a waste of time, but set two up anyway, just in case conditions improved. Two lead rods, both with bombs, one to fish bread, the other meat and 4 topkits, a very optimistic edge rig, a skimmer rig for 11m and another for 14m and a heavier rig in case carp were about.
The match started and sadly for me, soon adopted a familiar pattern to the previous two years, I searched round the peg with bread, then meat, then corn, finally maggots, all to no avail. A switch to the waggler - more in hope than anything else, as the wind was unfavourable for it - and that was also equally unproductive.
I had fed some GB at 11 and 14m after about 20 minutes, so had a look over it, I had a roach, a small hybrid and a small skimmer. I had to move and tart a new line and I would get 1or if I was lucky 2 fish from a line before having to abandon it and start another.
Kept trying for a carp as well, but at no time did I feel the tip would go round, peg 74 on my RH side was Paul Greenwood and he was equally struggling, whilst we watched Gabriel on 107 opposite, casting a waggler right down to 109 and catching - how frustrating is this winter fishing!!!
Persevering until the end, I had several looks down the RH edge and I thought it had paid off with 30 seconds to go when the float buried and I lifted into a fish, as nice a fish as it was - 2lb Perch - I was disappointed it wasn't a 20lb carp.
Once again, on the last day my team contribution from Cary was going to be minimal and I'd be relying on the others to pull the rabbit from the hat and thankfully they did, with Mark winning the match overall and Fred returning good points from Spring. If only I could have snared a carp or two and we'd have risen to 3rd overall, but given the level competition, the comeback after a poor year last year and the harsh winter we have suffered, we had to be happy with the end result.
Thanks to Steve, Helen and Matt for running the league, Bait Tech for the prizes and to my team mates, hopefully we can improve next year.
Individual Overall On The Day:
1. Mark Broomsgrove - 108lb 12oz - peg 110
2. Phil Hardwick - 105lb 11oz - peg 132
3. Ben Hagg - 83lb - peg 15
4. Matt Parsons - 74lb 10oz - peg 44
5. Dave White - 71lb 14oz - peg 51
6. Nigel Easton - 67lb 6oz - peg 113
Team Points On The Day:
1. Moaning Maggots - 62
2. Guru Viaduct - 60
3. Team Amigos - 59
4. M5 Angling - 58
5. Balti Boys - 56
6. Colmic SW - 52
6. Thatchers Vets - 52
6. 2nd Time Lucky - 52
Final Team Positions Of The League:
1. Colmic SW - 305
2. Mosella Bathampton - 298
3. Thatchers Vets - 279
4. 2nd Time Lucky - 272
5. M5 Angling - 266
6. Guru Viaduct - 264