Team England staged a major comeback on Day 2 of the Nations World Championships in Spain to earn themselves a well-deserved silver medal… and took silver and bronze in the individual competition too!
Mark Downes’ squad of William Raison, Sean Ashby, James Dent, Steve Hemingray, Cameron Hughes, and Matt Godfrey found the opening day’s match on the River Ebro around Mequinenza and Fayon tough.
Even with section wins from James Dent and a second from Sean Ashby, they were 18 points off the pace of the leaders Serbia and France on 20 but were in a group of chasing nations each recording over 30 points from the first match.
It left England with a big task for the second contest, but they came out of the blocks at full pace, winning the day with an incredible 16-point total, the best score of the whole weekend.
This came courtesy of another section win for Sean Ashby, second in sections for James and William, plus back up scores of four for Matt and a seventh for Cam who replaced Steve Hemingray on day two.
The individual scores saw James take the overall silver medal ahead of Sean who earned bronze. Both anglers finished with three points, but James got the nod on a weight countback.
Team-wise it was Serbia who were crowned World Champions with an overall 45-point score ahead of England on 54, and France in third with 70 points.
Mark told us: “It was an outstanding comeback today. We made a couple of small mistakes on day one by fishing for bleak for too long which cost us a lot of points but we’ve put that right today.
“The match was one of two halves, A and B sections were all small fish fishing with whips and we’ve dominated that over the weekend. Sean has won his section today with over 20kilos catching the most fish of any angler over the weekend – 644 fish in four hours!
“We didn’t have a great draw in C section but Cam came in and had a great match.
“Denty was steady all day catching skimmers and was only beaten into second by a late carp. Without that he would have been world champion.
“Matt fished a nice match at 4m and 9m all day catching skimmers and the odd big carassio, which made up for the really poor draw he was handed on day one.
“Overall it was a great performance and I’m massively proud as manager but the squad has had incredible support from the backroom staff of Darran Bickerton, Nathan Hughes, Frankie Gianoncelli, and Andrew Cranston too.
“Thanks to the Angling Trust and all the supporters back home.”