Girls shine in angling championships

A CHALLENGING day on the banks for Suffolk's junior angling team was brightened up by a storming performance from the squad's three female members at the National Junior Angling Association Under-18 Championships.

Stuart Watson

A CHALLENGING day on the banks for Suffolk's junior angling team was brightened up by a storming performance from the squad's three female members at the National Junior Angling Association Under-18 Championships.

Ever since the county squad was reformed by Gipping Valley Angling Club coaches last year there has been a strong female presence amongst Suffolk's young guns.

And in their first major competition of 2008, Suffolk's trio of Abi Brewster, Alice Bullock and Emma Reynolds left their surrounding male opponents in the shade with a fine haul at the Decoy lakes, Whittlesey.

Both Reynolds and Bullock trounced the boys competing either side of their pegs to finish fifth with weights of 8k 130g and 3k 700g respectively.

To complete the hat-trick for Suffolk's girls, Brewster doubled her male opponents weight on her left, while the angler on her right couldn't muster a kilo.

Most Read

It had proved a difficult day in general for Suffolk though, the fish simply not responding after the hours of practise the 10-strong squad had put in.

Heavy rain the evening before, combined with all four 'strip' lakes being used simultaneously, had an adverse effect on proceedings and, after five hours competition, some of the 88 anglers registered less than a kilo on lakes where smaller matches regularly see 100lb-plus weights.

Overall Suffolk finished seventh, once again punching above their weight against a number of far bigger and experienced squads.

Coach Mark Brewster added: “Our youngsters conducted themselves very well and we are proud of the fact that they earned their final placing having fielded a genuine home-grown team and without any coaching or bank-running on the day.

“On a day where such rules were openly flouted and when, once again, the apparent seriousness with which some seem to view this level of competition was all too evident.

“Gipping Valley take pride in the fact that we put out an under-18 team to represent the county, with minimal resources and very little sponsorship but still arrive with an attitude that we are certainly not at the party just to make the numbers up.”

In addition to the performance of the girls, Reece Page proved another silver lining for Suffolk with his sixth place section F finish with a return of 1k 900g.

Elsewhere, there was unexpected joy for Suffolk's Alex Gissing. Having travelled as a reserve, Gissing was approached on arrival to see if he could fill in as a guest performer for Lancashire side the Leigh Ospreys.

Putting in a respectable catch of 1k 200g, Page helped his adopted side to third spot on the day and, as a result, returned to Suffolk with a trophy.

Other Suffolk anglers to take part in the day included James Head, Robert Foulger, Ashley Miller and Robert Murphy.

Brewster added: “In reflection it was not at all bad a result considering that the club numbers just two to three hundred members at any one time compared to the relatively vast membership of associations such as Derby, Milton Keynes and Wakefield & Barnsley, all of whom we beat on the day.”

With a full domestic diary, the Suffolk squad now looks forward to September when it hopes to enter both a juniors and intermediate tea, on the banks of the Kennet & Avon Canal for the NJAA National.

For more information on the club, please visit: www.gippingvalleyanglingclub.co.uk.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter