Italy have been crowned 2015 world match fishing champions after a brilliant first day performance in which they scored just 12 penalty points making them almost impossible to catch.
But Drennan England produced an amazing Day Two effort to haul themselves into the bronze medal position after a disappointing first day, with Alan Scotthorne also making the podium.
This year’s World Championships of match fishing took place on Slovenia’s picturesque River Sava, a deep, flowing venue holding a strong head of a variety of species including vimba, barbel and carp.
In places the pole was difficult to come to terms with because of snags. However, Italy certainly had it sorted, scoring two section wins on day one (Andrea Fini and Jacopo Falsini) plus a second in section and two fourth places. Despite such a brilliant score the chasers were not a distance behind with the Czech Republic, Spain and Poland all on 19 points. Hungary had three section winners and finished on 19.5 points.
England went with Alan Scotthorne, Will Raison, Des Shipp, Sean Ashby on Day One, with Callum Dicks also making the starting five and Steve Hemingray as the reserve. They had a mixed day, with Alan Scotthorne winning his section but the team scoring 33 points overall and Callum Dicks making way for Steve Hemingray for Day Two. That didn’t put England completely out of contention, but they needed a great performance on Day Two with Alan Scotthorne also hoping for a medal.
He was drawn well too, in the right area of D section in an area that had produced some big fish the previous day. Manager Mark Downes was much happier with the day two draw and planned on changing tactics in the first two sections (A and B) to fish for roach and vimba there rather than bleak.
“We need to score 10-12 points to be in with a chance of a medal.. and that’s just a chance,” said Mark at the start of Day Two.
Alan started Day Two in style, with three good vimba and clearly catching better quality fish than those around him. However, a snagged and lost rig set him back and he then lost a monster carp. Alan doesn’t panic even at this level though – he has after all won five individual world gold medals!
And he was soon back in the groove trying to catch the Italian who was winning D section. He then hooked another beast, and kept his cool, eventually slipping the landing net under a carp of around 10lb that rocketed him up the section.
With Will Raison and Sean Ashby also doing really well, Sean catching small fish really well compared to those around him, England were heading for a good day that was for sure.
At the all out it was looking close between England, Italy and Solvenia for who would be the day’s winners, which obviously had Italy secure in the gold medal position. The question was could England drag themselves onto the podium and could Alan possibly bag a sixth world match fishing gold medal.
The news then came through that day one section winner Yury Siptsov of Russia had also won his section and clearly was going to have a bigger weight than Alan, and it turned out that former world champ Tamas Walter (Hungary) had also pipped Alan, who all the same made the podium once again for an individual bronze medal.
And there was great excitement when it became clear England had scored only 13.5 points to easily win day two and put them in with a real chance of a bronze medal.
After much nail-biting the news came through everyone associated with Drennan England had been hoping for. With one section win (Scotthorne), two sections seconds (Raison, Ashby), a section third (Hemingray) and a joint fifth (Shipp), England has produced a brilliant performance to haul themselves into bronze medal position behind Italy in first and Hungary in second. Wales finished in 16th position and Will Raison finished fourth overall.
World Match Fishing Championships 2015, River Sava, Slovakia
1 Italy, 37 points
2 Hungary, 40.5 points
3 England, 46.5 points
4 Poland, 48 points
5 Czech Republic, 53 points
6 France, 59 points
7 Serbia, 59.5 points
8 Spain, 62 points
9 Slovenia, 63 points
10 Russia, 65 points
16 Wales, 101 points
Individual Top Four
1 Yury Siplsov, Russia, 2 pts, 36.939kg
2 Tamas Walter, Hungary, 2pts, 27.447kg
3 Alan Scotthorne, England, 2pts, 24.343kg
4 Will Raison, England, 26e.390kg
Picture courtesy of Drennan International (http://www.drennantackle.com)