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DRENNAN Team England have won the first-ever European Feeder Cup with a trio of dominating performances over the last three days at a wet and windy Barston Lakes.
Ten international teams took part in the inaugural event hosted at the Midlands fishery – including two sides from the Drennan England Feeder squad and the England Masters Feeder squad.
They faced some of the World’s best match anglers with reigning World Champs Hungary alongside Czech Republic, Belgium, Ireland, Lithuania, Austria, and Germany all on the bank too.
It was England’s Aqua side – the World Championship team of Steve Ringer, Rob Wootton, Lee Kerry, Will Freeman, Adam Wakelin, and Mick Vials – who dominated the event from the start, winning two of the three days outright with section scores of 16 and 13.
They found Day 3 tougher though, finishing with a score of 18 for second on the day a 47-point total and the gold medals.
Day 1 and 2 overnight bronze medallists, Czech Republic, and the super-strong Hungarians pushed England all the way through the week and despite a late rally which saw the Czechs finish first on day three, the duo were unable to catch the home nation’s Aqua team.
However, the Czech Republic’s Day 3 total of 21 was enough to propel them to the silver medal with the Hungarian team earning bronze overall thanks to their match-winning 16-point score on the last day.
The event was also an opportunity for manager Dean Barlow to help prospective squad members gain some international experience, and the England Blue side of Jamie Harrison, Rich Wilson, Mac Stephens, Oliver Scotthorne, Tom Noton, and Sam Collett acquitted themselves superbly finishing in fourth overall. A poor draw on day three saw their silver medal position earned in the first two matches slip away.
England manager Dean Barlow: “What a result! Having home advantage is a benefit but it also piles on the pressure to perform. Both teams stood up to that and have beaten some of the world’s best feeder anglers this week and I’m so proud of them.”
Despite stormy weather, highly fluctuating temperatures, and widespread flooding, Barston’s carp, F1s, and skimmers fed in abundance all over the main lake with the winning team putting over 625kg on the scales!
Competition rules meant the anglers were only allowed to use free-running cage, rocket, or window feeders, 50cm hooklengths, and natural baits with bloodworm and joker also on the bait list. A 10-minute baiting up period was also in effect prior to the five-hour matches each day.
England’s approach was based around a particle mix of hemp, corn, and Sensas Fine Carp groundbait for quality fish and Sensas Power Pellet Dark for skimmers, with most anglers finding success with small pieces of dendrobaena worm or maggots on their hooks.
It was a team plan which also saw England dominate the individual table too, with seven anglers finishing in the top 10 overall.
They were led by a perfect score from the super consistent Rob Wootton who claimed three points for catches of 22kg, 25kg, and 31kg over the three days from pegs 82, 58, and 121.
The biggest weight of the tournament was taken on the first day by event organiser Lee Kerry who drew peg 27 on the river bank and piled 100k 150g of carp on to the scales to win his section and the match. Along with two section seconds from the following two days it secured the England Aqua hotshot a silver medal finish.
They were joined on the podium by World No.1 ranked feeder angler Steve Ringer who recorded two section wins thanks to catches of over 60k, 55k, and a third with 15kg. Steve’s second weight being the best of Day 2.
* The Angling Trust Competitions team and Drennan England Feeder squad would like to thank Nigel and the team at Barston Lakes for their superb hosting, Team Army for their exceptional stewarding of the event over the week, and all the anglers, team managers, and spectators who supported this inaugural competition. The 2024 event will be hosted in Belgium.