Cillit Bang on the verge of title as Mason helps side close in on success

Jason Bowles caught this 20lb 8oz pike from the River Wensum on a deadbait float. Picture: DANIEL BR

Jason Bowles caught this 20lb 8oz pike from the River Wensum on a deadbait float. Picture: DANIEL BRYDON - Credit: Archant

What a difference the odd fish makes, just two lonely carp, scoring vital penalty points, leaving Cillit Bang on the verge of the title.

That's the crux of a sensational penultimate round of the Wensum Valley Tackle League, staged on the Reepham Fishery where leaders Cillit Bang virtually claimed the title.

Low water temperatures in clear shallows produced mixed results, while the championship favourites possessed a winner in Glen Mason, who netted 70lb 10oz from peg 18 on the Main lake.

But the prizes for perseverance go to team skipper Lee Carver and colleague Scott Whiting, who refused to throw in the towel after drawing near-barren swims.

They were rewarded with one carp apiece, thus transforming a potentially disastrous 26 penalty points into runners-up total of 14, leaving the favourites one adrift on the day behind Wensum Valley Tackle on 13pp. Thus, Cillit remain league leaders with 82pp

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Afterwards, Carver said: 'It seems likely, with a 15-penalty point lead over our nearest challengers with one round to come, we will win this tournament.

'The two fish Scott and I caught from empty swims contributed massively. Glen, with the one penalty point, made the best of his peg but I've always maintained that team titles are won by anglers who can perform at the poorer sections and that was the case on Sunday.'

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Matt Pope (Special Ones) was runner-up with 49lb 11oz from Long Lake 46, then Matt Thirtle (R and J Pipes) 38lb 5oz from Main lake 10.

Top placings in the league are: Cillit Bang 82pp; Matrix Wensum Valley 97; Angling Direct Black 105; NDAA 118; Poker Players 125. Match organiser Daniel Brydon said: 'The weather was awful and carp were mostly in or around the marginal rushes on the far bank. Even so, respectable catches were put on the scales and I have to concede that Cillit Bang will win this competition.'

Elsewhere on the commercial lakes, it was proven that 'one swallow' certainly makes the winter if not the summer, for 18-year-old Shannon Swallow (Guru) won again at Barford, with 67lb 9oz on the Willow.

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