Preston Innovations star Andy Power joined a select band of anglers with his second Old Ghost UK Angling Championships victory in a nail-biting final round at Barston Lakes.
Scoring eight points across the four-match series, the Somerset angler tied on points with Dale Shepherd, but tallied 210-558 against the 204-713 of Maver man Dale to win the £4,000 top prize and get his name etched on to the famous claret jug alongside his 2013 victory.
Sitting on six points heading into the final match, former Match This champ Andy drew in the same section at the Solihull lake just pegs away from his rival. Dale duly won his section to finish with eight points, Andy taking second to bring weight into play with just six kilos in it.
“I had reservations about Boddington Reservoir. I was told it was peggy and hard fishing,” Wells-based Andy said. “Round one at Lindholme couldn’t have gone any better but I came back down to earth with a bump on the Glebe with a fifth in section, and I thought I’d blown it. My only hope was to win my section in the final two matches.”
Boddington gave Andy a section win after drawing a reasonable area and so it all boiled down to Barston. With his nearest rivals also suffering at Boddington or the Glebe, Andy was leading by one point.
“When Dale drew peg 124 I thought it was game over. That peg is a guaranteed section win so I was fishing for second. If I could do that, I felt I’d win on weight,” he continued. “Pellet waggler gave me six big carp plus a few F1s but at the whistle I had no idea where I’d finished.
“Dale had won the section and people reckoned Greg Norris had caught 80lb while I thought I’d got 75lb – but as it turned out I beat Greg into second by 2lb and did it on weight.”
The final round was won by Geoff Vallance with 61-225 off peg 18 on the river bank. The Preston Innovations Delcac man went for broke on the Method feeder all day for a weight, but with little to show and just half-an-hour remaining he plopped the feeder into the margins and brought his total weight of carp to approximately 125lb. “That effectively won me the match and the £1,000 prize!” said Geoff.
Result: 1 Geoff Vallance, Preston Innovations Delcac, 61-225; 2 Adam Rooney, Guru, 55-325; 3 Paul Holland, Guru, 51-000; 4 Dale Shepherd, Maver, 48-547; 5 Phil Canning, Frenzee, 44-850; 6 Paul Hiller, Daiwa Dorking, 36-796.
Final league: 1 Andy Power, Preston Innovations, 8pts (210-558); 2 Dale Shepherd, Maver, 8 (204-713); 3 Chris Barley, Dynamite Baits, 10; 4 Andy Kinder, Maver/Marukyu, 12 (172-324); 5 Zak Brown, Preston Innovations, 12 (150-215); 6 Adam Wakelin, Preston Innovations, 12 (141-511).