Barford ease to autumn glory with a round to go

Runaway home team Barford have won the Autumn League for teams of five with one round to spare.

Gary Kiddell helped hoist the team to victory in the penultimate leg on Sunday with a magnificent bag of 148lb 2oz from the prolific Colton lake. Just 18 fish from peg number two averaged more than 8lb apiece, and runner-up Tony Anderson (Suffolk Angling Direct) netted 119lb 6oz of carp at Barford in an event that produced specimens up to 18lb.

The champions' selection from seven top rods, depending on availability, were skipper Kevin Ford, Gary Kiddell, Paul Yeomans, Jim Randell, Andy Turner and father and son Bob and Jack Gill.

Commenting on a team performance that had already scored a maximum 15 league points, Ford said: 'We've been up against some top-class anglers to establish a six-point lead and no team can catch us.'

The first round of the River Wensum League in Riverside was a day for roach anglers and organiser Steve Borrett (Earlham Silvers) pulled the plum end peg near the turning basin for a winning catch of 17lb 15oz, fishing red and bronze maggot on the pole.

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Runner-up Lee Hodge (Anglers World) returned 17lb 8oz with Colin Sadler (Dukes) catching 15lb 8oz.

Describing the first round, Borrett said: 'Because of another club booking we had no alternative but to divide the match in two. I hope anglers who struggled for fish on Sunday have a better opportunity in the next round.'

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Of the other open events, the midweek on the Railway lake was won by veteran Roger Harris with an overwhelming catch of 132lb 8oz.

On the club scene, the Oddfellows at Abbey Waters were headed by Dean Mason with 109lb 10oz and top veteran at Bergh Apton was Paul Manthorpe with 100lb 8oz.

The inaugural Eastern Leisure Sea Anglers Alliance open shore championship staged along Great Yarmouth's North and Central beaches was a measured success, despite clashing with other local tournaments.

Organiser John Abbott said: 'It was a great deal of fun for the 36 keen beach anglers and I believe we are set fair for coming years.'

The winner was Adrian Crane with five dabs and five whiting to score 274 points from his catch of 5lb 11.3oz for which he received the ELSAA rose bowl, a magnum of champagne from the King William IV hosts and �113 in cash prizes.

• East Anglian pike enthusiasts are preparing for a winter boom with good quality catches already reported from the Broads, rivers and commercial lakes, including an unconfirmed specimen of 46lb from the River Thurne.

From this venue one 30lb-plus specimen has been witnessed and weighed below the river Thurne bridge at Potter Heigham and at least two others nudging that mark further up stream.

News that a monster predator snatched a 2lb-plus bream from the hook of Yarmouth match man Dave Docwra has also caused a stir among the pike fishing fraternity. Docwra described the fish as a fresh water version of Jaws, estimated at well over the 40lb mark.

The Broads river pike record holder John Goble of Caister, who heaved out his 45lb 8oz leviathan from the Thurne waters in March 2009, said he knew that fish was still alive and was possibly the pike that took Docwra's bream.

And his verdict on the 46lb rumour? 'Obviously I could not rule it out but at present I believe it is someone's imagination on the internet.'

On the carp scene, 16-year-old Toby Long of Wortwell had the specimen of the week from Waveney Valley, a mirror of 30lb 4oz.

• Lee Kerry, son of Norwich beach casting champion Paul, may be on the verge of an England call-up following some quite stunning match results this year.

Now living in Leeds, the former youth international in his mid-20s had racked up cash winnings of nearly �30,000 in just one week, including a magnificent pay out for winning the Park Dean Masters Festival with a 99lb 12oz catch from the White Acres fishery after beating Welsh champion Lee Edwards, who scaled 90lb 8oz from an adjacent peg.

'It's not about the money it's about being there and winning such a high profile event,' said the promising international prospect.

And on another tack Norfolk and Suffolk tied for 36th place, among 44 teams, in the county championships final.

The top prize of �10,000 was won by South Yorkshire.

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