THERE were so many twists and turns during the week long Daiwa-Bewdley Angling Festival that it was impossible to predict a winner even going into the last hour of the final day.
Ninety competitors had slogged it out over the three days on a river which came up two feet in the week and was coloured throughout the competition.
In the end the title went to Wolverhampton angler Nigel Ball with a total weight of 65-2-0. As well as the crystal trophy, the Colmic backed angler won over £2,000 in prize money plus a Daiwa Matchwinner 11/13 rod. Nigel’s week had begun slowly with 6-12-0 from peg 25 on the first day and just 5-10-0 from peg 25 on day two.
However, his day three draw put him on peg 77, just below the town, a peg which had produced a 35lb weight on the Wednesday match. Knowing he needed a good weight to put himself in with a chance of making the main list he attacked the swim with a groundbait feeder and small pellets with a single large pellet hook bait.
And, after a slow start, he began to catch barbel up to 5lb as a blistering second half of the match saw him win day three with 52-12-0.

In second position was Italian visitor Mario Molinari. Mario is a good mate of festival organiser Dave Harrell and attended last year as well.

He enjoyed a varied week and ended with a three day total of 63-1-0. On day one Mario won his section with 6-8-0 of bleak from peg 89. On Day two he won the match with 46-3-0 of barbel on feeder and pellet from peg 67 and on day three an excellent performance on stick float and maggot at peg 105 brought him10-6-0 of dace. Truly and all round effort, but he was left with the memory of a 5lb barbel which broke free at the net after a battle lasting 30 minutes. That fish would have won him the title.

In third spot was Kidderminster tackle dealer Mal Storey with an aggregate score of 59-3-0.

Dave Harrell confirmed the festival will be going ahead again next year and Phil Greaves, speaking on behalf of sponsors Daiwa confirmed the company is hoping to sponsor the event again next year.

All this year’s competitors will have first refusal on places although it is hoped that the event will be expanded to over 100  pegs next year.

The next big event on the stretch is the Teams of Four Champs on 16th/17th August. For information and an entry form contact the Matchline on 07919 122393.     

Full result: Day One: 1 Craig Evans, Drennan North West, 32-8-0 (peg 87); 2 Mal Watson, Shakespeare, 30-12-0 (peg 15); 3 Mark Jones, Halesowen, 18-4-0 (peg 70); 4 Lee Gardner, Dick Clegg Lifestyle, 13-14-0 (peg 58).

Day Two: 1 Mario Molinari, Daiwa Italy, 46-3-0 (peg 67); 2 Lee Gardner, DC Lifestyle, 35-8-0 (peg 114); 3 Kevin Hodgetts, Halesowen, 35-0-0 (peg 77); 4 Joe Brennan, Tipton, 30-11-0 (peg 47).
Day Three: 1 Nigel Ball, Colmic, 52.12.0 (peg 77); 2 Mal Storey, Storeys Tackle, 47-14-0 (peg 29); 3 Keith Russell, Bell Otters, 32-9-0 (peg 113); 4 Gary Farmer, Tipton, 19-12-0.

Overall: 1 Nigel Ball, Colmic, 65-2-0; 2 Mario Molinari, Daiwa Italy, 63-1-0; 3 Mal Storey, Storeys, 59-3-0; 4 Mal Watson, Shakespeare, 57-6-0; 5 Lee Gardner, Dick Clegg Lifestyle, 53-10-0; 6 Mark Jones, Halesowen, 52-12-0.