This year’s gala showpiece went right down to the wire, producing one of the closest results ever seen on a National.
The mighty Drennan Barnsley Blacks side lifted the trophy by just 790g after they tied on points with the Daiwa Tackle & Bates outfit.
Scoring 94 points apiece, Barnsley racked up a total weight of 278-225 against the 277-435 of the Daiwa lads, while Preston Innovations NW secured the bronze. The win now sees Barnsley holding three of UK team fishing’s biggest titles – the Division One and Commercial Nationals and the Winter League – proof that they’re Britain’s top match team.
Scoring section wins from Alan Scotthorne, Frankie Gianoncelli and Matt Godfrey, backed by a second by Andy Geldart and thirds from Gavin Liversedge and James Dent, it was a nervy wait for the Yorkshire side. A single fish from several of the Daiwa team meant the result could well have been reversed!
On the individual front, Preston Innovations NW man Josh Turbill made it two wins in this event in four years, following up his win in 2018 with top spot this time around, weighing in 57-800 from peg 15 on the Laurels Lake. Here, he explains how he managed to win.
At the peg
“My peg had an island that I could reach on the pole at 16m. In practice, a lot of fish had been caught on the pegs with islands in pole range. I set two rigs up to fish across and one for 6m in case the wind got up and I couldn’t fish long.
“Going over to the island in 18ins of water with a 0.4g RW Muddy float, I Kinder potted micro pellets in and fished an expander on the hook for the new stock fish that had recently gone into the lake. I caught eight of them, plus a couple of big F1s in the first hour, but it then slowed up a bit.
“Rather than feed only pellets, I split them 50/50 with SonuBaits Match Method Mix groundbait mixed wet to get it down, and then began to experiment with hookbaits. In the end, double white maggot was best, and I was catching steadily again.”
Some big carp arrive…
“As the match went on, the little stockie carp and F1s went, and I was picking off big F1s and carp. By nailing the bait and waiting I could set a trap and wait for a fish to arrive, a bit like you would do if using a little Method feeder. If I hadn’t caught after two minutes, I’d come back in and feed again.
“The wind did get up with about 90 minutes to go, but I’d been feeding 6mm pellets on the 6m line and had a look here – with no bites! The rest of the match was spent at 16m to the island, picking off the odd fish, but things had slowed down.
“The main job in a team match is to win the section, but I couldn’t be sure I’d even managed that, as I could see Connor Barlow on peg 19 catching all day. I finished with 11 carp and 33 F1s and stockies and I felt I’d just pipped Connor.
To win it is incredible. This event is the biggest team match on the commercial fishery scene, so to have two wins in four years is remarkable.
“My skipper must draw me some good pegs is all I can say!”