Barford festival victory is icing on the cake for kitchen fitter Wiles

The top five from the four-day festival at Barford. Back, from left, Keith Pearson (fourth) and Stev

The top five from the four-day festival at Barford. Back, from left, Keith Pearson (fourth) and Steve Port (fifth). Front, from left: Lee Carver (third), winner Matt Wiles and runner-up Adam Major. Picture: Sarah Thomson - Credit: Archant

A top Norfolk match angler has won the Barford Fishery Four-Day Festival for the second year running.

Matt Wiles – who competes under the Dynamite Baits banner – returned an unblemished score of four penalty points for his aggregate of 395lbs 15oz.

But he was dogged by another Attleborough-based contestant, Wensum Valley match star Adam Major, who also recorded four points from his 339lb 9oz total, while Lee Carver of Barford Tackle completed the home success story with six points from 393lbs 15oz.

Commenting on his phenomenal reprise performance that earned him a handsome £860, 28-year-old Wiles, who trades as a kitchen fitter, admitted four days of unrelenting concentration and physical effort had left him shattered.

'The physical and mental pressures at this top level are draining,' he said. 'Taking your eye off the job and missing a bite can cost you and becomes the difference between winning and losing. This festival result is the icing on the cake of a very good year for me.'

But had he considered testing his undoubted skills on the Broads rivers? The answer was 'no', because he thought the technique required was so different.

'It took years to discover how to win on the carp lakes,' he said. 'I do not fancy having to start learning afresh.'

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Major, 33, who works in poultry haulage, pocketed £680 and said he could not have done much more than return a perfect four-point score – but admitted he had dropped a few fish.

'Possibly the odd carp I lost could have made a difference and beaten Matt who is top class. So I am perfectly happy, together we saw off the travellers,' he said with a smile.

Carver, with two lake wins and top-three placings, won £600.

'One poor draw cost me two penalty points but all credit to the top two,' he said.

Sarah Thomson, who manages and oversees all match activity at Barford, declared the festival rated five stars.

'The attitude of the competitors was excellent with lots of good natured banter,' she said.

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