A last minute carp for Sean Ashby ensured that Drennan Team England returned to the top of the matchfishing tree in dramatic style during the 2010 coarse fishing World Championships in Spain, defending their slender overnight lead to emerge as winners by just 2.5 points from the ever-dangerous Italians.
Sean’s 1.5 kilo carp, netted with just minutes of day two remaining saw the Derby man claw back valuable points from what looked like a hopeless situation in the dying stages and despite only finishing tenth in section, great results from elsewhere backed up that important fish to see England take gold.
A section win for supersub Stu Conroy, a second for Mr Consistent Steve Gardener and thirds for Alan Scotthorne and Des Shipp meant that England racked up 19 points to go with their 21 from day one, Italy roaring back as they so often have at world level with 16 points to go with their 26.5 from Saturday only to leave them that agonising narrow margin adrift – not that England Co-Manager Mark Downes was bothered.
“I felt we controlled the match today and we had excellent information from our bank runners that helps me and Mark Addy as managers make the right decisions,” he said. “Without a man for each mini section you just don’t know what’s going on and we suffered last year in Holland because of that so big thanks to the likes of John Raison, Lee Kerry, Simon Willsmore and Joe Carass.”
Going into the match England knew who they had to keep an eye on, namely Italy, Holland, Team Daiwa Scotland, Shimano Team Wales and Maver Ireland and while the Home Nations and Dutch fell by the wayside, Italy just wouldn’t go away but with an hour to go, the England charge was still going very much great guns.
“We had a bit of a blip with an hour to go as Sean was struggling and I said that if he could score 10 points then we couldn’t be caught and that was the case. That carp was vital and some people might see his score as a bad one but almost every team on both days this weekend has had a peg that has only been worth that many points,” Mark added.
Nothing in the way of tactics altered with the bleak, carp and catfish combination in use again but Mark did admit that England hedged their bets slightly, concentrating on catfish when the carp weren’t about unlike many other teams who fished all day for those bonus fish, caught a few but had no cats or bleak to go with them.
“You always had spells where little would be caught and we felt that even if we were picking off a few catfish, we’d keep the pressure on,” he explained. “Des Shipp has had 55 catfish today for 4.5 kilos and they’re worth three or four carp so you can see the importance of catching numbers of little fish on this river. In fact the Italian management had Des down as eighth in section but I knew with those cats and some early carp, he wasn’t going to finish outside the top four!”
How England scored on day two
A section – Stu Conroy 1 point
B section – Des Shipp 3 points
C section – Sean Ashby 10 points
D section – Steve Gardener 2 points
E section – Alan Scotthorne 3 points
Top six teams
1 Drennan Team England
4 Maver Ireland
5 Daiwa Scotland
6 Shimano Team Wales
Drennan Team England celebrate with their medals and trophies. Nice one lads!
Too old to fish my arse! Proud winners Alan Scotthorne and Stevie Gardener show experience matters
The team's bank-runners - including William Raison - proved crucial to Drennan Team England's success
Supersub Stu Conroy won his section, helping to boost the points score
Stu Conroy and Ian Hughes battle it out in A section
Team supporters braving the intense heat included Alan Scotthorne's mum!