Silver and bronze as Ulster anglers take on very best
Northern Ireland did superbly well to secure bronze in the 16th Commonwealth Fly Fishing Championships in Devon – with the added bonus of an individual silver medal.
In the individual championship, Kenny Ferguson had an outstanding campaign to bank a well deserved silver with Australia taking gold and bronze.
Competing against 14 teams including Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Canada, Isle of Man, Scotland, Wales and England, the Ulster side regained both medals they had won in Tasmania in 2012.
The team consisted of anglers from Woodford Fly Fishery, Carrickfergus and Straid Fishery, Ballynure.
Captained and managed by Alan McDade, Newtownabbey, the team comprised Kenny Ferguson, Newtownabbey, Dominic McAtamney, Garvagh, Campbell Baird, Carrickfergus, Brian Kerr, Armagh, Darren Wallace, Carrickfergus and Harry McAteer Jr, Belfast.
Newton Abbot was the host town and venues consisted of the River Dart, Wimbleball, Fernworthy and Kennick lakes for boat fishing and Siblyback lake for bank fishing.
Northern Ireland had a couple of top three places in the 15-man groups after the first session and, most importantly, no blank score cards – and they repeated this fine performance in session two.
At the end of day one, Northern Ireland were in fifth with Scotland, England, Australia and New Zealand just in front.
Day two saw the fishing become a bit harder but the team did well to finish with quite a few first and second places and no blanks to lift the lads into third place in both the team and individual competitions.
There was only one session on day three and the team managed to grind out a couple of good results but the inevitable blank score card had finally caught up with them.
However, Australia had a similar sort of day, so third place went down to the wire with Northern Ireland just beating the Aussies to the bronze medal by five points!
Scotland took top honours in the event and England were second.
Anyone interested in fishing the qualifying rounds for next year's event should email firstname.lastname@example.org
Meanwhile, Woodford Anglers, Carrickfergus were top rods in round one of the Inter-Fisheries Team Challenge at the Straid Fishery, Ballynure.
Host club Straid were second and Cairn Farm Anglers, Carrickfergus, third.
Brothers Stephen and Andrew Powell lead the way after the National Coarse Fishing Federation of Ireland Predator Club's first two qualifiers to select the team to travel to France in October.