Team effort is key to Lathams’ victory

The big thaw came in the nick of time to free up the Barford match lakes where stunning carp catches were weighed in at the end of the opening round of the Teams of Five winter league.

And at the end of a keen five hours it was the Lathams Tackle outfit that took up pole position with a score of 17 penalty points, despite one team man ending with the only dry net of the day.

Team skipper Daniel Brydon who did not disclose the name of the unfortunate member who scored a blank, said he was delighted with the result: 'We came in with two section wins, a third and a fourth, and I think that proves we shall be the team to beat in this competition,' he added.

The Anglers World quintet hit the ground running with Barford Match record holder Warren Martin winching out the top catch of the day, 60lb 7oz from peg 42 on the Railway Lake. Brian Bygrave (Goodies Boys) was runner-up with 59lb 10oz from peg 15 on the Willow, followed by Gary Kiddell (Barford Tackle) with 51lb 7oz from the Railway.

However, Anglers World had to be content with runners-up spot on 19 penalty points from an aggregate of 118lb 14oz, followed by Suffolk Angling Direct, also on 19 but with an aggregate of 86lb 7oz.

Brydon, who was also the league organiser, added: 'This tournament had been postponed for more than a month during the freeze-up.

'But with the water warming, albeit very slowly, the carp responded and our man was the only one to blank, so our victory was rather special.'

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The fifth round of the King of the Wensum series, staged along Riverside in Norwich, developed into another heads up confrontation in adjacent pegs below the Turning Basin.

Peg one was still in the bag allowing David Gooch (NDAA) the benefit of end peg number two, where he chalked up 22lb 2oz of roach, just a couple of fish ahead of Robert Hubbard (Daiwa AD) with 20lb 14oz from peg three, followed by Nigel Goose (Dukes) with 16lb 3oz, midway along the match length.

With the water running clear under high pressure, the bream were absent and most of the fish taken were small roach to 4oz, falling mainly to maggot over hemp feed.