Daiwa Dorking through at Gold Valley – incredible tight for the places:

1st – Daiwa Dorking
2nd – PI Delcac – 44pts
3rd – Milo Bordon Dynamite Baits – 44pts
4th – Monk F1

Favourites Dorking came through as expected but it was incredibly close for th places. Three teams tied on 44 points so it went to a section win countback. They were all still tied, so it went to seconds in section.

Individuals

1st – Chris Vandervleit (Image) 147lb
2nd – Gary Miller (Image) 94lb

Stop Press: Barnsley through at Lindholme Lakes

Teams: 1 Maver Barnsley; 2 Browning Quaker; 3 Sensas Wibsey.
Individuals: 1st Steve Barra 90lb, Laurels; 2 Ash Clements 58lb, Willows; 3 Lee Kerry 55lb Bonsia.

Many congratulations to all the qualifiers especially Total-Fishing’g Lee Kerry and his team.

By Gareth Purnell

The picture for the 2009 Winter League final on the River Nene at Peterborough became clearer after a weekend of windswept semi finals across the country.

In the first of the semis, fished at Hampton Springs in Cheshire,  a relative newcomer to the scene laid down a marker with Wayne Mellings’ Maver Midlands team storming to first place with three section winners, and three seconds.

The team was only put together two years ago, and Wayne Mellings told Total-Fishing that practice had made perfect:

“The team came together through frustrated anglers who were unsettled in their teams and wanted to fish small league events at venues they wanted to fish. We started with 12 and with Phil Briscoe’s help, grew that to 18.

“The Winter League started for us in the Shropshire Division where we won four rounds and were second in the other two. We decided to commit the whole of February to practice at Hampton Springs because different tactics were needed on each pool, and we found that it was better to be positive than negative, and that a caster line for the silvers was crucial if the carp didn’t feed.”

It paid off handsomely as the team had three section winners in Ray Lamb, Brian Clark and Richie Lawson and three seconds with Wayne Mellings, St Ballard and Chris Hill, and although they have qualified from commercial waters, the team goes into the final not without a squeak.

“For the final on the Nene we have six anglers who have previously fished for other teams – we’re very excited about it,” added Wayne. Of course like the rest of the finalists they have the small matter of the best team in the land, Daiwa Dorking, overcome, barring an extremely unlikely disaster for Dorking at Gold Valley this weekend.

On the Loughborough stretch of the Grand Union Canal Daiwa Trentmen showed that they have become a very difficult team to beat on any canal – in fact the last three times they’ve fished on canals in semi finals, they have won.

Their 29 point total was enough to see them well clear of a tie for second spot between local lads Leicester Sensas and Shakespeare, and all three make it through. The match saw high winds and an annoying amount of boat traffic, and although bloodworm and joker dominated one of the talking points was a shoal of bream near to the swingbridge which ‘blew all day’ but refused to feed. In the end Leicester stalwart Pete Marlow persuaded three to feed on peg 5 and that was good enough for individual victory with 9-8-0. Shakespeare’s Andy Chisholm was second with 8-10-0 – he included two 1lb-plus roach and two bream in his catch from the same section.  The result means a couple of fancied teams in the shape of Tipton and Hotrods miss out.

There were too more semis over the weekend, with Kamasan Starlets coming through with apparent ease  at Milton Keynes on the Grand Union from Drennan Oxford, who tied for second with Fox Blackhorse but beat them on a weight count-back. Unluckily for Blackhorse, who are a team I rate, there are only two qualifiers from that one. It was another typical all-round performance from Starlets with only one of their anglers in the top six overall, yet they won by six points. Individually Fox Blackhorse at least had something to smile about, Damien Green taking 7-7-0 to the scales for the overall win.

The other semi was on the Bathampton stretch of the Kennet and Avon Canal where Garbolino Blackmore Vale took team and individual glory (see picture below), Jason Mills weighing in a fine 26-4-0. They go through with PI Thatchers and Daiwa Gordon League.

This weekend sees two more semi finals, with Daiwa Dorking and Maver Barnsley Blacks fishing at Gold Valley and Lindholme Lakes respectively.

Winter League Results: Qualifiers So Far

Winter League Northern Semi Final, Hampton Springs: Maver Midlands, Chester Tackle Locker, Ted Carter Southport

Winter League Midlands Semi Final, Grand Union Canal, Loughborough: Daiwa Trentmen, Leicester Sensas, Shakespeare Superteam

Winter League Midlands Semi Final, Grand Union Canal, Milton Keynes: Kamasan Starlets, Drennan Oxford

Winter League Southern Semi Final, Kennet And Avon Canal: Garbolino Blackmore Vale
PI Thatchers, Daiwa Gordon League

The jubliant Garbolino Blackmore Vale lads following Winter League victory on the Kennet And Avon Canal.

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