A storming Day 3 saw the silverware heading to Lincolnshire as Messingham Sands fishery boss Kevin Johnson pulled ahead of the field with a 27-560 haul of skimmers and roach off Eonish Shore, although the match was far from finished as the tricky Irish conditions meant any one of half-a-dozen had a shot at overhauling him on the final day.
As it ended up, Kevin totalled 83-820 from the five days, Devizes rod Kevin Rowles getting closest with a 79-820 tally, ahead of former Essex County star John Whincup on 74-320.
The action kicked off on Day 1 at Upper Gulladoo Lake, where 12-100 of small roach and perch on long pole and worm over choppie made for a steady start for Kevin, but things picked up 24 hours later at Leonard’s Farm, where long pole and caster gave him a lovely 21-840 of roach and hybrids.
That Day 3 skimmer bag really swing it for him, the feeder proving the weapon of choice, and on Day 4 a poor peg on Glasshouse Lake saw the scratching gear come out, waggler and worm and caster giving him 8-180 of small fish, which then made it a nervous affair on the Friday.
Corfree Shore awaited, and a cold wind saw Kevin swap between pole and feeder with maggot and caster to squeeze everything out of his swim, with 13-600 of roach, skimmers and perch seeing him do just enough to take the title and £4,000 in winning by a little over 4kg!
Result: 1 K Johnson, Messingham, 83-280; 2 K Rowles, Devizes, 79-280; 3 J Whincup, Fox Match/Van Den Eynde, 74-320; 4 L Klimczuk, Van Den
Eynde/Bait-Tech, 72-660; 5 B Smith, Enniskillen, 65-420; 6 D Brettle, Doncaster, 64-730.