THE two-day, all-expenses paid, Build Center/NFA Team Knockout Grand Final fished at the fabulous White Acres fishery complex in Cornwall, was always going to be a bruising affair with six of the country’s finest teams of five clashing in the showpiece knockout event of the year; but no one could have written a more dramatic ending to day one than for the two leading teams to tie on points and with just 500 grams separating them.


With the ‘giants’ of angling being dismissed in the earlier Build Center rounds, it was left to the ‘minnows’ of team fishing to lock horns in a head-to-head that will elevate the champions to the dizzy heights of top team status in the UK. Trelawney lake was chosen for the event because it offered the 30 competitors an even chance of producing top section points. Due to the glaring sun the event was re-scheduled to start at 1pm to give the competitors the best chance of catching fish from the dazzling lake.


The Surrey based Meat Bashers produced the day-one top individual weight in Mark Murdoch, 38, a Wallington policeman who drew the fancied end peg (E6) to take 36.860kg  of carp to 4lb close to the side on a 13 metre pole with sweetcorn on the hook. Runner-up Steve Renshaw, 43, a service engineer from Mansfield Woodhouse, earned six points for Derby Hotrods with his 27.180kg catch. Third placed Chris Hill of Shimano Tipton Van Den Eynde claimed top points with his 14 carp catch totalling 21.360kg. Meat Bashers skipper, Pete Upperton, 22, a drainage engineer from Ashtead, Surrey, returned 14.360kg, worth six points, and Shimano Tipton VDE ace Richard Noakes, 30, also collected maximum points with 13.260kg.


Despite boasting three individuals in the top six, and returning a total weight of 69.260kg, worth 24 points, the midlands Shimano Tipton VDE team were deprived of the top spot by the outstanding Meat Bashers outfit who also gained 24 points but had a total weight of 69.760kg … just 500 grams more than the fancied midlands team.


Another ‘Mark’ drew the prolific end peg (E6) on the second day and he slipped into overdrive to take a fish a cast. Twenty-five-year-old plumber Mark Jones, Shimano Tipton VDE, used a 13 metre pole and chopped worm to take carp to 5lb fishing tight up to the bank for a total weight of 57.520kg – the best catch of the final. Edgeley Sports Fossils star Paul Cox, 44, has won more than 250 matches in 35 years of fishing and the planning engineer claimed the runner-up spot, and maximum section points, with 29.080kg from peg A1 opposite the winner.


Shimano Tipton VDE skipper, Richard Noakes, 30, scored six points for the second day with his 24.380kg catch to finish third while Meat Bashers skipper, Pete Upperton, 22, a drainage engineer, netted ‘double’ maximum points when he recorded fourth place with 16.920kg.


Meat Bashers surrendered hopes of landing the top place when the magnificent Shimano Tipton VDE team returned three perfect scores through Mark Jones, Richard Noakes and Chris Hill. Their impressive total team weight on day two was 104.900kg worth – 26 points. Meat Bashers were second with 46.440kg earning them 21 points while third placed Milton Keynes AA Sensas scored 19 points with their 37.760kg.


The Midlands based Shimano Tipton VDE team finished worthy overall winners with 50 points for a 174.160kg total weight worth £4,000 in prize money. Runners-up Meat Bashers landed a total of 116.200kg from 45 points and collected £2,000 while third placed Milton Keynes AA Sensas returned 74.460kg and 38 points earning them £1,000 in prize money.


Shimano Tipton skipper, Richard Noakes, said: “It’s been a fantastic two days and a gripping Grand Final. After the first day I knew we had our work cut out to beat Meat Bashers, but we kept our cool and I am delighted we have won. This has been a great competition and I hope it continues.”


Meat Bashers captain Pete Upperton commented: “We gave Shimano Tipton a fright on day one but they broke us down today and they are worthy winners. We have had a brilliant time and this is a perfectly balanced knockout competition. Our thanks go to Build Center and the NFA.”


Gary Underwood the skipper of third placed Milton Keynes AA Sensas, said: “This has been a memorable competition and the sport needs a sponsor like Build Center. Everyone has gone away with a commemorative medal and many memories of a great knockout final.”


Build Center sales and marketing manager, Stuart Evers commented: “I am delighted the Build Center event has been so successful and produced the bonding we looked for. The Grand Final was clearly a huge success and our congratulations to the prize-winners and the NFA who organised the competition so well.”




Day One

Teams: 1/ Meat Bashers 24 points 69.760kg; 2/ Shimano Tipton VDE 24 pts 69.260kg; 3/ Quorn VDE Gold 19 pts 38.140kg; 4/ Milton Keynes AA Sensas 19 pts 36.700kg; 5/ Derby Hotrods 12 pts 36.780kg; 6/ Edgeley Sports Fossils 7 pts 10.340kg.


Individuals: 1/ Mark Murdoch, Meat Bashers 36.860kg; 2/ Steve Renshaw, Derby Hotrods, 27.180kg; 3/ Chris Hill, Shimano Tipton VDE 21.360kg; 4/ Pete Wedgebrow, 17.380kg;      5/ Peter Upperton, Meat Bashers, 14.360kg.


Day Two

Teams: 1/ Shimano Tipton VDE 26 points 104.900kg; 2/ Meat Bashers 21 pts 46.440kg;       3/ Milton Keynes AA Sensas 19 pts 37.760kg; 4/ Derby Hotrods 16 pts 31.380kg; 5/ Edgeley Sports Fossils 13 pts 41.100kg; 6/ Quorn VDE Gold 10 pts 19.720kg.


Individuals: 1/ Mark Jones, Shimano Tipton VDE 57.520kg; 2/ Paul Cox, Edgeley Sports Fossils 29.080kg; 3/ Richard Noakes, Shimano Tipton VDE 24.380kg; 4/ Pete Upperton, Meat Bashers 16.920kg; 5/ Steve Renshaw, Derby Hotrods 14.440kg; 6/ Zac Brown, Meat Bashers 11.440kg.


Final Team Placings:


1/ (£4,000) Shimano Tipton VDE 50 points 174.160kg; 2/ (£2,000) Meat Bashers 45 pts 116.200kg; 3/ (£1,000) Milton Keynes AA Sensas 38 pts 74.460kg; 4/ Quorn VDE Gold      29 pts 57.860kg; 5/ Derby Hotrods 28 pts 68.160kg; 6/ Edgeley Sports Fossils 20 pts 51.440kg.