Report by Aberdeen Angus


“We came first when the results were announced in reverse order.”


Some 48 hours prior to the first round match of the VDE/Angling Times Supercup, George (Aberdeen Angus) tried to inspire his team, in their match against Daventry and Pike & Eel, with a rendition of Henry V’s speech at Agincourt. “Once more unto the breach Dear Friends.” Unfortunately, it appeared to have more impact when given by Laurence Olivier, or Kenneth Brannagh.


The match concluded on Sunday afternoon with a rendition of the opening speech from Richard III- “Now is the winter of discontent.”


Sunday started well enough. Breakfast was excellent thanks to Nigel (Ainsley) Harrhy, and the whole team turned up (albeit a little late Darren) which is always a good start. The tardyness of the team was perhaps due to various team members pulling into a lay bye to conduct discussions with Keith Arthur on his ‘phone in.


The match was arranged with 8 sections of 3 on the Barston Match Doughnut pool, and 2 sections of 3 on the deep water section of Barston’s main lake. Young Mark Williams (recently recruited by Garbolino Starlets) and Keith (Crusty) Taylor (at the other end of the age scale) were the intrepid two delegated to fish the deeps. The other eight of Darren (The Pimp) Wilson, Keith (Mad Merv) Taylor (what is it about people called Keith Taylor that makes them of an age to have a Free Bus Pass?), Phil Howe, Lee Pullen, Mick Parkinson, Peter Palmer (wasn’t he in Wacky Races?), Steve (Bahookie) Ramsay (much much more about him later) and Phil (Pebisit) Stone, made their way to the Doughnut.


Tackle was set up, and I am very sorry to report that one of the squad unable to fish Steve Mac, would have been horrified by the lackadaisical approach to tackle care.


At 10:00 Team Manager, Coach, Bank Runner, Benefactor, and general useless Dogsbody, Aberdeen Angus blew the whistle …. And things started well.


Darren had a Brown Goldfish first put in. Mark Williams created a tidal wave on the main lake as he chucked in 14 tennis ball sized lumps of Groundbait. Matters got even better when at 10:20, a real shanked drive from a golfer on the 13th tee, snapped the pole of Mr Murfitt of Daventry clean in half. Well if you cannot beat the opposition fairly and squarely……


But that was almost the end of our good fortune. Darren, who for all of 30 seconds was probably leading the match, did not catch again for 4 hours. Keith (Mad Merv) Taylor missed a bite as he was rolling a fag. Lee Pullen lost a real lump that pulled out most of his Black Hydro. Mark Williams started well on the deeps, once the tidal wave died down, but then started catching perch, where he needed 40 for an ounce.


And as for Steve (Bahookie) Ramsay. Well, as Bank Runner I was always looking for some good news, and Steve was probably not the right person to go to! He endured a peg devoid of fish, and a bank runner devoid of tact! No matter what he tried, it did not work.


In fact, wherever I went for good news, there was little to be found. I sat next to Darren, when a golf ball which apparently just missed Phil (Pebisit) Stone , landed in the peg next to Darren, and hit the Daventry angler’s float. 30 seconds later up pops a carp (with a bump on its head) on the Daventry hook!


Keith (Crusty) Taylor was keeping his cards close to his chest, but people who know his reticence to be truthful about weights, saw a smirk creeping across his face as the match went on. He knew he had his section won. Mick Parkinson suddenly switched onto some fish, fishing pellet over micro-pellet down the track. And those two were to be our only section winners.


In the meantime, Steve Ramsay Nil, from Motherwell Nil, continued to blank.


At 2:30, our esteemed leaded Gareth (Geepster) Purnell called me to find out what was going on. I gave him the bad news, that I though we were OK on 2 sections, and in with a chance on 2 others (Not Steve Ramsay’s). Without knowing the venue, Geeps was keen to offer advice to and suggested that I scrounged some bloodworm from somewhere to give to Steve Ramsay (who was still blanking.)


Phil Howe continued to scratch around.  Mad Merv was still smoking against team orders. Pete Palmer was looking glummer and glummer, and had bad neck ache as he had developed this uncontrollable twitch to turn his head every time he heard a golf ball being struck off the adjacent 13th tee. And Nigel (Ainsley) Harrhy, owner of the venue, kept searching the small print of his insurance policies.


It was almost a relief to the team when the final whistle went at 3:00. At the weigh in, team total-fishing ended up with 2 section wins:


Keith (crusty) Taylor 13-1-0, of Roach and Carp on the Pole and Tip

Mick Parkinson 2-12-0 of Carp down the track on pellet over the top of micro pellet.


Phil Howe, Phil Stone, and Mark Williams had credible section seconds, and the rest…… well.


Top weight on the Doughnut lake came from D Jackson of Daventry with 25-07. This was the same section that produced the only blank, and guess who that was?


Second top weight was by Mark Bishop of Pike and Eel with 17-5-0.


My thanks goes to all the team who worked hard, both in the match and practice, and that includes squad members who practised but did not fish.


Final word must go to Keith Arthur, who upon learning that I was to be running the bank, advised Phil Stone on air, “For God’s sake, invoke rule 24.1. sub section ii. C, that prevents Aberdeen Angus from speaking to any team member during the match.”