ENGLAND captain William Raison led from the front at last weekend’s European Championships in Hungary claiming the individual silver medal in a tough competition which saw the team fall just four section points shy of bronze.

William, who took the bronze at the same event last year, was one of only two of the 149 anglers fishing to win their sections on both days but lost out on the gold on a weight countback to Slovakia’s Jan Samel.

It was Slovakia who won the team event too after staging one of the competition’s greatest ever comebacks on the second day with a mind-blowing six-point score including four section wins and a second for 19 points overall.

That was too good for the ever-consistent Hungarian team in second on 27 and Poland – runaway winners on day one with an incredible eight points – finishing in third.

The England squad of William Raison, Steve Hemingray, Cam Hughes, Matt Godfrey Simon Willsmore, and James Dent were unlucky not to bring home a medal after their day two, 15-point score put them on 37 in total. That was just ahead of one of the pre-match favourites, the Czech Republic, in fifth on 38.5 points.

Manager Mark Downes reckoned the finish was a fair reflection of what was a tough pair of matches.

“The lads have fished brilliantly, and we’ve come back from fifth on day one to fourth overall and only four points away from a medal,” said Mark.

“If you look at the weights then you’ll see the top three teams have had 97, 99, and 81 kilos so our 68 kilos for fourth is a fair result.

“It has been a big learning curve for us. What has costs us is the fact we were on A and B sections on the first two days of practice, and I think if we’d have had a later session on them we would have been more up to speed and wouldn’t have dropped so many points on the first day. It’s those small margins which make a big difference at this level.”

Most of the fishing centred around long range slider fishing and accuracy was crucial given that the pegs were only 10 metres apart on the massive Lake Deseda venue.

William’s silver medal came courtesy of two catches of silvers. The first was made up of 126 skimmers and bleak and went 7kg on the scales and was followed by a net of skimmers weighing 13k 400g for that perfect two-point score over from the two matches.

William said: “I’d swap the silver for a team medal in heartbeat but it’s a nice reward and thanks to everyone who has supported us this week.”


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