Six Nations Championship, Furzton Lakes, Milton Keynes
A NEW look Drennan England squad which included rookies Paul Yates and Darren Cox was too good for the French, Belgians and other home nations as they eased to victory on MIlton Keynes’ Furzton Lake.
England’s Steve Gardener and Will Raison both had a perfect two section wins in the event, but the pair was split in the individual stakes by a French angler, A Dewimille. Steve won the gold thanks to a bigger two-day weight, but less than a kilo separated the gold, silver and bronze winners.
In a match which saw roach in the 1oz to 5oz bracket feed readily on bloodworm and joker, France took the team silver with Belgium taking the bronze. Ireland were the best of the rest home nations, just missing out on bronze, with Shimano Wales a disappointing fifth and Daiwa Scotland sixth.
Joint manager Mark Downes was delighted with the performance and the venue and said that in light of the forthcoming World Championships in Portugal, England were glad of the experience of taking on and beating two to the world’s best bloodworm nations. Fast fishing for small fish with bloodworm will be what’s required on the River Mondego in Portugal.
England’s winning tactic was based around sorting out a better stamp of roach by excluding leam from the groundbait and just using a mix of Sensas Roach and Lake.
This meant no hanging cloud was created and thus fewer very small fish were drawn in.
Wales boss Eric Humphries described the match as a learning curve for his talented squad and said the Six Nations was the ideal chance to blood new anglers.
Over 314kg was landed by the 36 competitors over the two days and it may be that the NFA has finally found a UK venue capable of staging major international events again.
Result: 1 Drennan England, 22pts; 2 France, 31; 3 Belgium, 37; 4 Ireland, 40; 5 Shimano Wales, 59; 6 Daiwa Scotland, 63.
Individual: 1 S Gardener, England, 2pts, (14.960kg); 2 A Dewimille, France, 2pts (14.400); 3 W Raison, England, 2pts (14.000).