The match organiser’s ‘curse’ strikes again….

What a day! This must go down as one of the most successful TF North-East get-togethers ever. But come the day of the match you wouldn’t have thought so. Rumours of mass fish kills at Woodlands were flying round like wildfire, and this, coupled with the fact we had the usual TF north weather (Rain and a bit of wind) meant nobody really knew what to expect from the day. We shouldn’t have worried…

A Turnout of 33 on the day meant everybody could be spread out across the 2 lakes, and have a spare peg each side. This definitely increased catches. Literally minutes passed after the all-in at 11am, before elastics were out and rods were bending, as people began to get stuck in to Woodland’s carp population.

Rikki Brown on Partridge 2 looked to be an early leader, with fish up to 8lb coming to the 16m pole shallow. However, his last 2 hours were slow, but never the less Rikki still put 70-8-0 onto the scales for eventuaol 4th place. If Rikki started well, then old Ray Johns on Partridge 8 started like an express train. Now ‘Gay’ Ray, a mate of one of TF’s most valued contributors, Rik_1, is a bit of a misfit from the North-West. Consequently he cannot see the bristle of a float, so resorts to chucking a great big dirty lead out to the middle. As soon as he started catching, Ray opened his gob to abuse Chris Taylor (Canal King) on the opposite side of the lake. Now Chris has done very well for himself this year, deservedly gaining a place in the Englad U16 squad.

“Is that Mark Downes on the phone then Fatty, teaching you how to fish?” drifted across in a strong welsh accent, (In truth they were sorting out the pre-match pies for next years junior world champs). Ray just carried on bagging, managing a hefty 88-13-0, and a second place finish for the orange-haired barmpot.

In between these two, Kev ‘Sneaky’ Hartley had a nice mixed bag of 28-13-0, consisting of a lot of silver fish. Gary ‘Microwave’ Hancock had drawn well on Partridge 6. Gary caught shallow and down the edge, to end with a creditable 47-4-0 and a section win (by double default I hasten to add!). However, the top end of partridge was a bit of a struggle, with Scoobs recording a DNW, but Mick Herrington did well to muster 38-8-0. This was a bit of a luxury for nearby Oaks at Sessay match organiser Mick, as for once somebody else was running things!

Maggotdrowning’s Paul Thompson (Tommyturtle001), fresh from Intersite North individual victory at the weekend, drew flier corner peg Partridge 18 and mustered a net bursting 11-5-0. To be fair to him the wind was not blowing into the corner, and he didn’t have the Malham sisters for moral support!

On the other side of the lake, another Maggotdrowner, Tony Ferguson (Fishyferg) had a solid 49-14-0, and ounces behind was Chris Taylor on peg 25, who, in between abuse from Gay Ray Johns and stuffing his face with junk food, weighed 49-10-0.

Ian Exley (X-man) had this section sewn up though, catching both shallow and on the deck to record 68-1-0. I drew Partridge 31, arrived late to my peg and generally had my usual slow start. Things picked up a bit with spurts of carp shallow, but the wind made things difficult and my back up plan of paste at 4m failed to work. To make things worse I drew smack bang opposite Microwave Hancock, and a fish for fish battle ensued, fighting it out for the customary £1 coin. Although I ended with 15 carp (1 more than Gary), his were of a better stamp, and I knew he’d done me. Still, 42-13-0 isn’t too bad a days fishing though, but the match organiser’s curse (which struck Gary at Drayton) prevented me from catching much more! However I would like to point out that I caught a lot more than Gary did at Drayton!!! Grizzly bear Mike Pattinson on Partridge 35 won this year’s Cumbrian Competition, although his 35-4-0 effort amazingly was last in this consistent section.

Moving on to Skylark Lake, the subject of many a fish-kill rumour on the internet forums this week. In truth there was barely a dead or distressed fish to be seen (apart from those caught by the ugly mug of Mike Sterland!).These rumours were soon questioned (when Talkangling’s Neil McMurran Pole Potted his way to 44-10-0 from peg 2), and then thrown well and truly out of sight when Dave Watson (Bigloser) on Skylark 4 heaved a huge net of 2-4lb carp up the bank. After 3 weighs he recorded 98-0-0, and not surprisingly, won the match. Further along on pegs 8 and 10, Ian Scone and Andy Toplis had 20-0-0 and 27-10-0 respectively. Andy’s APF feature with Darren Cox had obviously paid off! These two had travelled up from the Midlands to support this match, nice one lads.

Adam Richards (adam1), who fishes Woodlands about 3 times a week, caught a few but was battered by his Dad for a change. Adam weighed 43-12-0. I’m afraid to report here that 2 pegs along, on Skylark 14, a bit of an ‘incident’ occurred. Before the all-in, Bert ‘Grandad’ Poole decided it would be worthwhile checking his swim. Now where most people would do this with a plummet, or maybe even perhaps with a fishfinder, Bert decided to do it himself. Turning around to talk to X-man Ian Exley, Bert lost his footing in a gap, lost his balance, and did a backwards roll that any scuba diver would have been proud of, and ended up at the bottom of Skylark lake. Now Bert isn’t a small fella, and the water level is reported to have risen by at least 10 inches before he eventually pulled himself out. This pre-match swim inspection seemed to do the trick, as Bert hauled out 84-7-0 to finish 3rd, and just a couple of fish off Ray. Mike Sterland (no for once I won’t abuse the hair) broke his pb match weight with 27-4-0.

The fourth and final section was won by Steve Richards, who, from peg 19, amassed 69-7-0 (A months worth of fish for him, according to son Adam). Numbnuts also had a good net of fish, to the tune of 65-5-0. Ian Mackie (Merlin) was once again disappointed the weather was not suitable for his shorts, and managed a modest 25-0-0 net. Stavros was obviously confident as he had 2 keepnets out… unfortunately he proceeded to fill neither but still put a respectable 33-7-0 onto the scales. Pete Wright fared better on peg 29, with 61-8-0. Finally, last but not least, Colin Wilby caught a good run of fish shallow to end with 52-3-0 in S33.


1. Dave Watson (bigloser) 98-0-0 (S4).

2. Ray Johns (LMFAO match team) (P8)

3. Bert Poole 84-7-0 (S14)

4. Rikki Brown 70-8-0 (P2)

Sections (By default)

Partridge 1-18: Gary Hancock 47-4-0 (P6)

Partridge 19-37: Ian Exley (X-man) 68-1-0 (P29)

Skylark 1-17: Neil McMurran (The POLEPOT) 44-10-0 (S2)

Skylark 18-34: Steve Richards 69-7-0 (S19)



2: R Brown 70-8-0

4: K Hartley 28-13-0

6: G Hancock 47-4-0

8: R Johns 88-13-0

10: S Cooper DNW

12: S Armstrong 18-4-0

14: M Herrington 38-8-0

16: M Mason 27-6-0

18: P Thompson 11-5-0


21: T Ferguson 49-14-0

23: M Holmes 37-2-0

25: C Taylor 49-10-0

27: G Lowery 40-0-0

29: I Exley 68-1-0

31: B Fisk 42-13-0

33: T Bucknall 49-14-0

35: M Pattinson 35-4-0


2: N McMurran 44-10-0

4: D Watson 98-0-0

6: M Kilkenny 40-6-0

8: I Scone 20-0-0

10: A Toplis 27-10-0

12: A Richards 43-12-0

14: B Poole 84-7-0

16: M Sterland 27-4-0


19: S Richards 69-7-0

21: Numbnuts 65-5-0

23: I Mackie 25-0-0

25: Stavros 33-7-0

27: N Mackin 41-4-0

29: P Wright 61-8-0

31: I Wright 48-0-0

33: C Wilby 52-3-0

Once again a great day in great company. The weather was awful, and it’s a miracle I can reproduce these results as a freak storm during the weigh in soaked the score sheets. Thanks to Gary Hancock for relieving me of a quid, and for helping with money and pools etc, and also to winner Dave Watson for sorting the pegs out. See you all next year.