Last-gasp section win bags Jon Arthur third title

Drennan star Jon Arthur has won his third Old Ghost UK Angling Championships title, earning the £4,000 top prize.
The Oxford angler won the event twice a few years back, but left it until the last minute to lift this year’s silver claret jug, earning a section win at the death to be confirmed champion as the competition ended in dramatic style at Barston Lakes.
Needing a section win to take the title, Jon obliged with a 32-225 net of carp, F1s and skimmers off peg 28 on the river bank of the Main Lake. That matched the score of Myles Levy, who had also won his section to finish on six points. Unfortunately for the Daiwa Dorking man, he didn’t have the aggregate weight to beat Jon.
Going into the match, Jon, Myles and Adam Wakelin all stood on five points, with a clutch of names behind ready to capitalise on any slip-ups. As the match progressed, it became apparent that Adam’s draw meant he would have little chance of chalking up a section win, but Jon and Myles both looked like being the winners.
Myles started strongly at peg 52, fishing the PVA teabag and pellet approach with a couple of double-figure carp in the first hour to take control of his section.
Jon’s match was slightly slower, and the early stages saw him lying around second or third in section. He went for a Method feeder and mini boilie attack, but a big carp, estimated at around 12lb, was lost at the net after a 20-minute battle, which knocked his confidence a little.
News also filtered down that Nick Speed and Chris Bailey, further up the section, were challenging.
The latter stages of a match on a commercial fishery can always change drastically, and so it proved as Jon and Myles slugged it out as the carp started to play ball. Both men caught well, with Myles weighing in 48-550 to win his section and take third place overall on the day.
Being last to weigh in,  and with both Nick and Chris taking 24kg, Jon knew what he needed to win the section. Having landed a big carp in the dying stages, the question was how crucial would that fish be? The crowds gathered and, with bated breath, a weight of 32-225 was announced. Jon had done it by just under 6kg, that big carp indeed proving vital.
“I could cry,” was all an emotional Jon could say at the end, and rightly so. The UK Champs is a marathon fished across several months at fisheries that demand a range of skills to do well, making Jon a worthy winner.
Although the title race was out of many anglers grasp, there was still the matter of the £1,000 up for grabs for the individual winner on the day.
Peg 124 was always a favourite, and Jamie Grainger had a tough start from there, but picked up carp from midway to amass 52-225, but it wasn’t enough for the overall win!
That honour went to Ady Hull, who fished a steady match from peg 16 using long-range bomb with PVA pellet tea bag tactics to record 58-900 at the scales.
Jamie settled for second with Myles Levy claiming third on 48-550.
Result: 1 A Hull, Dynamite Baits, 58-900; 2 J Grainger, Preston Innovations Delcac, 52-225; 3 M Levy, Daiwa Dorking, 48-550.
Overall: 1 J Arthur, Drennan, 6pts (339-755); 2 M Levy, Daiwa Dorking, 6 (200-630); 3 A Power, Preston Innovations Thatcher’s, 8 (258-0050); 4 R Taylor, Daiwa Dorking, 8 (216-780); 5 P Wrighting, Daiwa/Guru/Bag’em Baits, 10 (257-605); 6 R Wootton, Shimano/Dynamite Baits, 10 (217-715).