A hard overnight frost and a reduced water level in the Albert Basin didn’t bode well for the Anglers assembled outside the Quays on Sunday morning. Some of the gathering looked decidedly worried as they presented their licences for the Loughs Agency Fishery Officers to inspect.
With some men travelling from as far away as Newtownabbey and Lisburn there were a few furrowed brows.
Following the result of the last match and several practice sessions in the preceding week, it was clear that most of the anglers were changing tactics, with almost all setting up 6 metre whips as well as the usual selection of long poles and feeder rods.
The all in was called at 11.00am and all the pre match concerns were forgotten about almost instantaneously as all the anglers had a fish on the very first cast.Bo Donaldson (Newtownabbey) got into a very steady rhythm early on and was catching a fish a cast from the hooter. Davy Hamilton (Lisburn) was also getting into his stride early on and putting fish in his net steadily.
Leading the local challenge was Glenn Rooney (Warrenpoint) who was getting a few net fish to add to his tally. Geoff Quinn (Dorsey) was catching steadily but his fish were noticeably smaller than his neighbours, and Micky White (Newry) was also catching regularly.Going into the last hour it was clear that Bo Donaldson was well in front as he was still catching every cast.
Micheal Bradley (Portadown) was by now catching some nice net fish and was beginning to challenge for a place in the top 3.
A last hour tally of 57 fish for Geoff Quinn was not enough to put him in contention as the fish were still of a small stamp.
Stevie Wright (Portadown) at the top end of the Basin was quietly working away and seemed to be making a late run to compete for a place in the frame.
At the scales it was clear that Bo Donaldson was the run away winner with Davy Hamilton second and Micheal Bradley in third.
This match yet again has shown Newry Canal to be one of the most consistent and fair venues in Ireland for winter sport.
This result will surely be among one of the best canal results in the whole of not only Ireland but England,Scotland and Wales also this week. The South Armagh and District Angling League would like to thank Newry and Mourne District Council for all their help in staging this event, and the Loughs Agency for their assistance.Final Result
1st Bo Donaldson Newtownabbey 34lb 9oz
2nd D. Hamilton Lisburn 13lb 8oz
3rd M. Bradley Portadown 11lb 9oz
4th S. Wright Portadown 10lb 4oz
5th M. Wright Portadown 9lb 6oz