REIGNING champions Drennan Barnsley Blacks are the 2023 Division One National winners after a hard-fought contest on the Gloucester Canal.
The all-conquering outfit finished the day with a massive 137 section points from the 46 teams-of-10 match, securing their second victory in as many years.
Their score was just three points too good for runners up Browning Ossett on 140 and third placed Daiwa Gordon League with 144. Drennan Bordon also carded 144 points but slipped to fourth on a section countback.
Barnsley’s back-to-back victories – started last year on the River Trent – marks just the fourth occasion in the event’s long history that a team has won two in a row, the previous claimed by Birmingham AA in the 70’s, Daiwa Dorking in 2011 and 2012 and Drennan Barnsley Blacks in 2018 and 2019.
Bites were at a premium for most anglers on a water which has suffered from the inconsistent weather leading up to the Blue Ribband event with a catch of 1.5kg the target for good points.
Bream fed sporadically along the match length from Monk Meadow Dock in the centre of Gloucester all the way down to Purton – on the banks of the River Severn and anyone who found one scored mega points for their team.
Individual winner Nigel Evans, fishing for Daiwa Gordon League, found more than one. He exploited a gap in the far-bank trees at permanent peg 324 on the Laynes Farm stretch of the canal to plunder almost a whole shoal with 30-plus bream falling to his feeder and maggots tactics.
The Welsh wizard is no stranger to big matches having fished at international level for Team Wales for many years and ended the day with 49k 500g of bream.
He was pushed hard though on the next peg, 323, where Darren Wright, fishing for Colmic A4 MG, also got amongst the bream and brought 30k 300g to the scales for the runners up spot.
* Thanks to Mark Treasure, Kevin Fortey, and all the stewards – without you we wouldn’t be able to run an event of this scale – plus Jon and his team at Highfield Garden World in Gloucester for hosting the draw and presentation.

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