Battle royal for the King of the Yare Trophy
Wayne Anderson is poised to lift the Nisa Feeder King of the Yare trophy after the final showdown next Saturday.
For the past two seasons, the Daiwa Angling Direct squad man has been in contention right up to the last round, but failed within sight of the winning post.
But this time he expects it to be third time lucky among the roach now teeming in the Beauchamp Arms match venue.
Last year the well-known tackle and bait salesman, who is so highly rated at the waterside some say he is capable of catching a net of roach from roadside puddles, was pipped at the post by Lowestoft's Mark Pollard, who came through with a final catch of 24lb 5oz to win with an aggregate of 246lb 3oz to Anderson's 238lb 5oz.
At Saturday's penultimate round fished in tidal water running clearer by the minute, the key fish were quality roach, along with the odd small skimmer bream that brought Kevin Paynter (PW Angling) his second victory in seven days, with a catch of 24lb 8oz.
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Anderson's fifth place, from 18lb 12oz, boosted his aggregate to 196lb 12oz, leaving him a hefty lead over John Platten (Nisa Waveney) on 175lb 12oz and Reg Bryanton (Deben) with 161lb 7oz.
League organiser Andy Wilson-Sutter believes it is now a two-horse race between the top two. But how does Anderson see it? For this is a tournament where the top eight returns from 13 will decide the outcome.
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'I understand I can drop another 10lbs if I catch more than that on Saturday, so I have to fancy my chances being 21lb ahead at this vital stage of the competition, when I'm pretty certain it will be a roach day on Saturday,' he reasoned.
That seems a fair analysis considering Platten, who can also drop 10lbs, has to weigh in more than 30lbs if he is to come through with a late dash to the tape. But as we have repeatedly seen year in year out, anything is possible in this unpredictable sport of match fishing.
n Sunday's final round of the Suffolk League for Teams of Five provided a foretaste of sport to come on the Yare. In short, it was a rollocking roach bonanza. Top rod was Glen Hubbard, whose 31lb 10oz of quality red fins up to the one pound mark helped boost his Norwich-based Daiwa Angling Direct Black outfit to a successful defence of the title they won last year against the company's arch rivals from Suffolk.
Norwich Black scored nine penalty points per section ahead of Suffolk Gold on 11, while Norwich Red finished with 15 and Suffolk Blue 18.
Thus the final league table reads Black 11 league points, Blue 15, Gold 19, Red 20, all fishing under the Angling Direct banner.
Hubbard said: 'The team turned in a great all round performance and I had the luck of the draw. It was a brilliant roach peg and I fed in caster and hemp and caught on red maggot, baiting a pole rig.'