Drennan Barnsley Blacks swept to victory in this year’s Angling Trust Division One National on the River Trent.
The Yorkshire outfit had to be content with third place in 2015 but they settled the score this time around, walking away with the title thanks to an impressive 380-point total.
Conditions leading up to the event had been ideal but the weather took a turn for the worse come match day, with the 450 entrants forced to battle against gale-force winds.
Peior to the match hours of practice had been put in by the teams to try to develop a winning plan, but Barnsley Blacks captain Glenn Lawrence admitted that everything they had learned went out of the window on the day.
“We had been doing a lot of floatfishing on the river, but the wind was so bad that we knew there was going to be hardly any fish caught on the pole, waggler or stick float as presentation would be nigh on impossible.
“We only caught one fish on the float between us!” he said.
Rather than enforce a strict team plan, the decision was made to allow the squad – which included such big names as Alan Scotthorne and Lee Kerry – to fish their pegs as they saw fit.
That trusting approach paid dividends, with every member finishing in the top 15 of their 45 peg sections, with Will Freeman and Matt Godfrey among their best performers.
“Every peg on the River Trent is different and when you have anglers of that calibre you know that they are going to be able to come up with a plan that will give them the best chance of doing well.
“That is exactly what happened and we are absolutely delighted to have won the Division One National.”
Barnsley’s success leaves them one step closer to making their way into the history books, with the team now just one National win away from matching the eight titles recorded by the legendary Leeds DASA side.
The victory also gives them the chance to represent the UK in the 2017 World Club Championships, the venue for which will be revealed in the coming months.
Several other star teams, including the formidable Daiwa Dorking, were on show at this year’s National, but local knowledge proved key to landing the framing spots.
Lincoln & District AC took the runners-up spot after they accumulated 367 points, with Scunthorpe back in third on 345 points.
Result: 1 Drennan Barnsley Blacks, 380pts; 2 Lincoln & District AC, 367; 3 Scunthorpe Tackle, 345; 4 Daiwa Dorking, 341; 5 Derbyshire Angling Fed, 326; 6 Browning Hotrods, 314; 7 Starlets AC, 308; 8 Lincs County, 300; 9 Daiwa Gordon League, 293; 10 Winterton AC, 290.