BAWTRY & District AC (pictured above) upstaged the pre-match favourites and netted the
And a late change of tactics earned the Individual trophy for Tony Hopley, a 59-year-old retired headteacher from
Sadly, this National marked the end of Imperial Tobacco’s record-breaking 34-year run of backing angling following the Government’s decision to stop most tobacco sponsorship by
Local aces, Daiwa Goldthorpe, Barnsley & District, Middy Team Dons and Colmic Ossett, were installed as the most likely winners but it was another local
This was Bawtry’s first season back in the top flight after they had finished second in the Embassy Division Two National on the Boston Drains last year – great news for their new sponsor, Mosella.
Bawtry skipper, Dale Murten, a 34-year-old financial consultant from Finningley, near
“We are a local side and know the water very well but we are not a team of superstars and, obviously, most people would have fancied the better-known local sides to have won this event.
“We knew it was going to be hard as the water has been hammered in recent weeks. On the day, it was really hot with bright skies, clear water and, in some sections, it was flat calm. We started on squatts to try for a reasonable weight at 10 metres and then tried to catch a bonus fish with maggot over chopped worm at 14 metres.
“We were looking for 1 kg a man and ten of our 12 anglers reached that target. – all the team did really well but we only have a squad of 13 anglers and the unlucky man to miss out was Cantley’s Dave Jones. But Dave took it really well and did a fantastic job for us as bank runner and steward.” At least, things went right for skipper Dale at the match as the previous day he had filled up his diesel car with unleaded petrol! Dale was seventh in C Section with 2.210 kg.
Bawtry’s top scorer was Balby’s Keith Dodd, a 22-year-old fishing his first National. Keith landed three chub on a long pole and maggot to win E Section with 4.500 kg to pocket £1,038. And there’s a special mention for former captain, Hatfield’s John Robinson who was collecting his third gold medal and his 10th National medal – a superb achievement. John won an Individual gold in Division One on the
Garbolino MAP Starlets AS (pictured above), who have been rebuilding their side since last year, totalled 645 points and claimed the silver medals and £1,260 – it was their first National medal for a number of years.
“In the past we may have been a bit guilty of not practising enough but now we have been working really hard. The squad has practised three or four times each and the team plan was to look for bonus fish on chopped worm for the first five minutes at 16 metres or with worm on a bomb tight to any feature. Then, if that didn’t work it was straight on to fishing with squatts at 11-13 metres. We had to make the most of the fish feeding early and the plan worked well as nine of the team reached their target weight of 1 kg. We were a bit gutted when we first heard we were second but when we heard the winning margin was 35 points, then we knew Bawtry must have fished really well – good luck to them, they deserved the trophy.”
Middy Team Dons, with eight anglers from in and around
Reg led the way with a captain’s performance as he won D Section with five chub and 2 kg of small fish for 4.050 kg and seventh place overall. Their other top anglers were: Steve Donoghue (fifth in L Section with 2.640 kg); Peter Baron (fourth in G Section with 2.750 kg); and Nigel Goddard (fourth in J Section with 2.990 kg).
From left to right, Gary Sadler, winner Tony Hopley and third placed Chris Parr.
Individual champ Tony Hopley drew Peg J2 and, two minutes before the start, was getting ready to fish for chub under the brambles on the far bank. Then, a passer-by told him it was a bream peg and Tony said: “I was going to fish a worm for chub on a size 6 hook, so I immediately changed over to the tail of a worm on a size 16 hook with chopped worm and casters in a groundbait feeder.” Thirty minutes later, Tony’s decision to change was proved right when he hooked his first bream and, by the end, he had 11 bream up to 1.4 kg, two ruffe, one perch and one roach in his net for a convincing win. Once that first bream was in the net, Tony never even considered the various pole rigs he had set up.
A delighted Tony added: “It’s my seventh National but my first time in Division One – it’s just an amazing result for me as you never come to such a big match as this expecting to win. I’m just glad the passer-by told me about the bream. It’s easily my biggest pay day – my previous best was £400.” With eight bream in the net, the bites dried up halfway through the five hour match and Tony did try dropping down to a size 22 with a single red maggot and, in the last hour, switched to a straight bomb. But it was the tail of a worm on a size 16 hook to 4 lb main line and a 2½ lb hook length that proved the most successful tactics.
Gary Sadler with his catch.
The Individual runner-up, Gary Sadler, a 42-year-old window fitter from
A late 20-minute blitz sealed third place for Chris Parr, a 38-year-old scaffolder from
Fishing a feeder with red worm and red maggot on size 18 and 20 hooks, Chris said: “I had one bream early on and then with just one hour to go, I landed the rest of the bream in a 20 minutes spell up to . It was incredible and it’s easily my best result in a major match especially as I didn’t practise on the water.”
Aircraft fitter Barry Thomas (Southport & District AA) landed three chub and some smaller fish to come home fourth with 4.550 kg from Peg K11 to win £1,832 after having a £12.50 each way bet.
Lincoln and District’s Frank Butler in action at Thorne Lock.
EMBASSY DIVISION ONE NATIONAL ANGLING CHAMPIONSHIP (Stainforth & Keadby Canal) TEAM: 1. Bawtry & District AC 680 pts; 2. Garbolino MAP Starlets AS 645 pts; 3. Middy Team Dons 620 pts; 4. Barnsley & District 606 pts; 5. Tek-neek Trabucco Halifax 583 pts; 6. Drennan North West 579 pts; 7. Daiwa Goldthorpe 572 pts; 8. Walton AC 570 pts; 9. Sun Inn Tuxford AC 556 pts; 10.
INDIVIDUAL: 1. Tony Hopley (Matlocks AC) 8.190 kg; 2. Gary Sadler (