The North East won back to back titles at the 2007 NFA Disabled National Championships held at Lindholme Lakes, North Lincolnshire. Competing with six other regional teams, the North East came out on top in the pinnacle event for anglers with disabilities.

The North East region – 2007 Disabled National Champs

Although the North East Regional Team on paper came to the match as first favourites, a lot of work had been put in by the other regions to add strength in depth to their teams so everyone taking part knew they all had a good chance.

Though the fishery did not quite live up to its reputation for throwing up large weights (the previous evenings 4 hour match had 9 anglers with over a 100 kilo each and a winning weight of over 160 kilo). With the rules for this event only allowing anglers to use a maximum of 13m pole many anglers were unable to get in amongst the large quantities of fish that patrol the far margins on both of the lakes used. Anglers that adopted the tip to the far bank as their main attack were rewarded with a better stamp of fish and a higher catch rate, as the match progressed it became clear that this years match would be very tight at the top and this was reflected in the final result with only two points separating the top two team places.

The East Midlands – 2007 Disabled National Runners Up

The North East took Gold with 55 points, but were closely followed by the East Midlands with 53 points and in third place was the West Midlands region with 44 points.

The North East Squad gave a collective sigh of relief when the final team results were given out. Although they new it would not be as easy this year commenting, “We knew that teams like the East Midlands would push us right to the wire and on the day they did, fortunately for us the team were able to draw on their squads team commitment to pull them through in the end.”

Speaking with the teams after the match, the East Midlands commented, “They had come today with their strongest squad ever and every man had given 100% effort. Although we would have loved to have taken the trophy from the North East Region we had no regrets and all the team have had a brilliant day, plus there is always the next time, so watch out we’ll be back.”
The top three individual anglers all used the tip to great effect with David Dickens of the Southern Region taking the top Individual spot from F section (Bonsai Lake). He used the tip, casting between two islands to take fish on a regular basis throughout the match to come away with 25k-620grms.

Second place went to Steve Parker of the East Midlands Region alternating between the pole and tip to finish with 21k-100grm from D section (Bonsai Lake), not to be out done, Jason Rimmer also fishing for the East Midlands Region took third spot from B section (Bonsai Lake) again using pole and tip to take 20k-600grm. Though Steve was on the far side of Bonsai, Jason could see David Dickens throughout the match so new he needed to build a weight if he was to have any chance of getting into the medals. Commenting after the match, “I have had a great days fishing, and to receive an individual and team medal as well as the team getting me a shirt with my name on, can’t be bad.”

Steve Parker (left), David Dickens (centre),Jason Rimmer (right)

Finally a comment from one of the competitors after the match “I came here as others as an angler from our region to enjoy the fishing with no real idea of what the day would hold. We have had a wonderful time and met some great people and its now given us the impetus to go back to our region with a commitment to work together to build a better squad so we can come to next years Championships and maybe, just maybe, get a medal, who knows.”