There is no doubt the East Midlands Winter League is one of the toughest leagues in the country to win and always has been over the past 20 years.
This year it was once again tight at the top of the leaderboard. Going into Sunday’s final round any two of four teams had a chance of making it through to the grand final on the Old Nene and Decoy Lakes.
The added incentive for all is the fact that the final is to be fished locally once again.
It was tense at the draw and even worse for the nerves when the results were announced.
Once again Factory Bank was the sections to draw if you wanted to be in with a shout of individual glory.
That was where Mark Pollard drew and at the moment there is no one better at small fish fishing on the local match fishing circuit.
He topped the field with a fine 16lb 7oz, not on bread punch as many expected but fishing a squatt and pinkie approach both short lining and whip fishing.
In second place was John Taylor, who had 15lb 4oz, then came Anthony Watling on 14lb 2oz and Pete Vasey with 12lb 13oz.
That was the easy bit over with for the match organisers. Then it was down to sorting out the league winners and runners-up.
Matrix Image have not had the best of winter leagues but put the cat amongst the pigeons by taking team honours on the day with 26 points.
Then came Browning Hotrods with 28 points and locals Sensas Mark One took the all-important third place with 29 points.
That meant Sensas Mark One were crowned league winners. They finished one point ahead of Stanjay Gold, who go through to the final with section points of 171 compared to Browning Hotrods’ 174.
A special mention should go to city rod Dale Stones. After six tough rounds he was crowned the Stacey Cup winner with an 11-point total over the full six matches, a fine achievement.
Old Nene Benwick
A Section - Liam Darlar 11lb 8oz
B Section - Josh Pace 11lb 11oz
C Section - Bob Nudd 8lb 13oz
D Section - Gavin Butler 12lb 3oz
High Lode - Factory Bank
E Section - Pete Vasey 12lb 13oz
F Section - Mark Pollard 16lb 7oz
G Section - Anthony Watling 14lb 02oz
H Section - Alasdair Ogilvie 12lb 6oz
J Section - Andy Spencer 3lb 10oz
K Section - Steve Welford 15oz
Teams on the day: 1 Matrix Image 26pts; 2 Browning Hotrods 28pts; 3 Sensas Mk1 White 29pts; 4 Stanjay Gold 33pts; 5 Sensas Mark One Black 43pts.
Final League Table: 1 Sensas Mark1 White 14 (169 section points); 2 Stanjay Gold 15 (171 section points); 3 Browning Hotrods 15 (174 section points); 4 Matrix Image 16 (181 section points); 5 Sensas Mk1 Black 33 (275 section points); 6 Stanjay Silver 33 (278 section points).