2012/13 Hereford Winter league winners – Shakespeare

The winning team (from Left):, Nigel Davies, Tom Lane, Steve Williams, Leigh Gardner, Brian Rigby, James Robbins + Spig our bank runner

(Pic courtesy of Dave Harrell)

This is a notoriously tough league to win and to say we are pleased is an understatement!

We’ve fished this league for the last five years and been runner up three times – it’s often a close fought battle between us and local team Woody’s and we’ve finally won!

Up until the last round we were winning the league by a slender 1 point margin over Woody’s.

So we all knew it was going to be a close call and would need a consistent performance with 6 catchers on the day – something not guaranteed as previous rounds had proved.

The conditions have been fairly extreme this year with cold snow water and high river levels combining to make the fishing very hard through most of the sections. However we are now an experienced team on the Wye and seem to do well when conditions are hard. May be its due to the many years of slugging it out on tough venues like the Avon at Evesham, but the last 3 rounds proved our consistency when the going gets tough as we recorded 2 wins and a second.

On this last round we were happy with the draw and also the fact we drew next to Woody’s. We needed to come no worse than one point behind in order to win the league and basically each of the team needed to beat their Woody’s guy, not an easy task!

As the match progressed it was clear we were doing well and holding our own against Woody’s.

Nigel had caught some chub early on A section, Steve was doing very well in C on the ‘deadly’ ash path with a couple of barbel, Riga was is the zone catching Perch on E section peg 80 and Tom had caught a roach in F section.

The only worry was Leigh on B section as after 3 hours he was still fishless. So when Leigh sent me a photo of a big Perch in his net we were all very relieved!

My peg 64 in D section was probably the easiest in the team draw. Recently I always seem to draw the bottom 3 sections on the match length (A, B and C), and these pegs tend to be the hardest sections to fish with the longest walks (much to the amusement of the other guys!). So I was pleased (and shocked!) with this draw in the town as the peg is very consistent in the section. Team mate Nigel Davies drew it on the last round and won the section with bleak so my tactics where fairly simple, I copied Nigel and won the section with 8lb of bleak on 4 and 5m whip!

Here are our final positions on the day:
A section: Nigel 5-9-0 = 6 points
B Section: Leigh 2-6-0 = 6 points
C Section: Steve 14-4-0 = 10 points
D Section: James 8-1-0 = 12 points
E Section: Riga 5-7-0 = 9 points
F Section: Tom 1-8-0 = 2 points
Total points = 45 and 3rd overall

After a nail biting wait for the results we learnt that Woodys where 2nd with 47 points and Wizzards won the round with a great score of 54 points.

So we had done just enough! Drawing with Woody’s on 80 points overall but winning on the number of match wins (2 vs 1).

Many thanks to Tony Birt for running the league with great efficacy and humor!

Here are the top 5 league positions:
3rd NOMADS A 67
4th WIZARDS 65

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