From left to right: Tunnel Barn’s Mike Hamlington, fourth-placed Dave Ryan, Cudmore’s Cyril Brewster, 2003 UK Premier League Champion Darren Mulhair, second-placed Pete Caton and third-placed John Glover jnr.
BROWNING Cudmore Fishery walked off with the inaugural UK Premier Angling League trophy, thanks to the efforts of team man Darren Mulhair, who topped the field of 30 finalists with a 63-14-0 bag from Tunnel Barn’s House Pool.
Ten anglers had qualified through Premier Leagues run at their respective waters – Cudmore, Copthorne and Tunnel Barn Farm – and with £1000 and a Browning pole up for grabs for the individual winner, competition was fierce.
The match was fished on The Shrewley, Warks venue’s House and Extension Pools, but with a wind buffeting anglers on the extension, it was the former that filled the top three weights.
Darren, who picked up a £200 trophy to keep as well as the £100o cash prize and pole, fished caster shallow at just two metres to take F1 carp from the off at fancied peg 14, plus nine bonus carp.
Next to him, Tunnel Barn Farm’s Pete Caton was also into fish from the first put-in, and he finished second on 48lb, picking up £300, with Cudmore’s John Glover jnr pocketing £200 for his 47-5-0 bag of small fish from House 33, an unfancied area.
Best weight from The Extension came from Dave Ryan, fishing for Copthorne. He drew a sheltered corner and weighed in 42-12-0 to walk away with £150.
“We are delighted to take the team trophy, which was simply decided by the team of the winning individual,” said Cudmore’s John Glover senior.
“Fishing it that way was great. We could all fish as individuals for the win, but it still felt like a team triumph.”
The UK Premier Angling league has proved a big hit with match anglers, keeping open attendances up right through the winter at fisheries running it.
“It’s set for a major expansion this season, with another eight leagues joining in to take it right across the country,” added organiser John Glover.
“It looks like around 1000 anglers will be involved this year and with each paying £10 and with the eight fisheries taking part all putting in £2000, we are confident that next year’s final in April 2004 at Copthorne will see a prize pool of over £12,000.”
Fisheries Running Premier Leagues 2003/2004
Browning Cudmore, Staffs
Copthorne Fishery, Lancs
Tunnel Barn Farm, Warks
Viaduct Fishery, Somerset
The Oaks, North Yorks
Gold Valley, Hants
Puddleduck Farm, Essex
Whinwhistle Coarse Fishery, Hants