England’s Anglers with Disabilities side said thank you to the people who made their participation in this year’s World Champs possible in the best possible way, returning from Portugal with a bronze medal and a clutch of impressive individual performances.
Following months of fundraising, raffles, donations from the tackle trade and of course money from the angler’s own pockets, England did battle with nine other teams and emerged third behind winners Slovenia and Croatia in second, putting in a rousing day two display that saw them win with 9 points - in fact they were an agonising half point off silver overall!
There were also three men in the top 10, Worksop’s Andy Lakey finishing sixth overall on six points, Stefan Gent taking eighth and Alan Chadbone tenth, Mark Eves backing them up with a valuable score on that crucial second day, Terry Naulls the man to sit out both days.
“Bleak played a big part on Day 1 and I think everyone started fishing for them, but we were slipping behind at the halfway stage,” said Manager Joe Roberts. “We switched to the waggler and long pole with maggot, feeding hemp and managed to claw it back a bit and finish fifth but quite a few points off the pace.”
As is so often the case at international level, Day 2 was a different story with the team a little more au fait with the river. It showed too, as they fished for bleak for the opening 20 minutes before swapping to the pole and waggler to top up with boga, small carp and barbel, turning in that magnificent nine point tally to take the day by a single point from champions Slovenia.
“I was a bit concerned after Day 1 as we were off the pace, but the team really worked together well and was tremendous on Day 2,” Joe enthused. “We could even have had a few individual medals as well. Andy was only 300g off being world champion and Alan was in the same boat.”
“I’d also like to thank all the tackle companies that have made this medal possible including Drennan for supplying the gear the boys needed, Dick Clegg and the Angling Trust for raising the money to get us here and Daiwa, Fox, Garbolino, Preston Innovations, Maver, Halkon Hunt, Sensas, Shimano and Angler’s World Holidays for all pitching in to help with raffle prizes,” Joe finished.
For Andy, his debut World Champs appearance nearly ended in a medal, 1-300 of bleak and small barbel on Day 1 giving him fifth in section, just 300g off second which allied with a Day 2 win thanks to 3-150 of mainly barbel would have given him three points and more weight than Bosnian winner Roman Kelecevic.
“It was an amazing experience, unlike anything I’ve ever seen in fishing,”
Andy said. “Everyone was so friendly even though it was the top end of matchfishing and we were just so pleased to finish with a medal but to be only half a point off silver took the shine off it a little bit.”
1 Slovenia, 22pts
2 Croatia, 30
3 Angling Trust England, 30.5
4 Bosnia, 36
5 Czech Republic, 43
6 France, 44
7 Italy, 50
8 Belgium, 54
9 Portugal, 56
10 Germany, 74.5
1 R Kelecevic, Bosnia, 3pts (6-230)
2 R Centrith, Slovenia, 3 (5-400);
3 O Petracek, Czech Republic, 4 (5-330)
4 F Stefanic, Slovenia, 4 (4-880)
5 I Bonio-Hasan, Croatia, 5
6 A Lakey, Angling Trust England, 6 (4-610)
7 Z Klajic, Croatia, 6 (4-010)