Youngsters make their mark in national event
WAVENEY VALLEY: The Specimen Lake at Maver Larford in the Midlands was the setting for the 2010 Ladies' National Championships. After two days' practice during the previous half-term week, and much information gathering, Abi Brewster and Suffolk County teammate Abbi Kendall were ready to give this prestigious and high profile competition their best shot.
The Specimen Lake at Maver Larford in the Midlands was the setting for the 2010 Ladies' National Championships.
After two days' practice during the previous half-term week, and much information gathering, Abi Brewster and Suffolk County teammate Abbi Kendall were ready to give this prestigious and high profile competition their best shot.
The assembled field of 61 anglers comprised the country's top ladies and included several England internationals. Abi Brewster drew peg 13, with three times Ladies' National winner and 2009 champion next-door on peg 12, and with another previous winner also in her section, in the shape of England international Claire Dagnall.
With the match under way, it became evident that the fish weren't going to respond as expected, but both Abi and Abbi stuck to their plans, while make a couple of appropriate adjustments as they saw fit. Eventually Abbi managed to prompt the resident bream into feeding on a long pole line, while Abi began to take a few carp on the bomb. All the time both fed their near pole lines, hoping for late, and big fish.
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Sam Perkins on peg 63 impressed the stewards while Sandra Scotthorne on end peg 35 found bream on the long pole, and Emma Pickering on peg 30 caught steadily.
As the match progressed, while Abi was able to induce occasional bites from her bomb line, she began to pull out of fish too, after playing them for several minutes. Meanwhile, Denise Hudgell next-door began clawing back the deficit, with bream and a bonus tench.
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Unfortunately for Abi, while she netted a total of six carp, the number she lost - seemingly through no fault of her own - reached the same number and included one very large common carp that freed itself after a quarter of an hour or so on the line. With no response on her pole line, all Abi could do was keep feeding her bomb line and chop and change bait combinations in an effort to take a final fish or two.
Abi Kendall (4 kilos 320 grams) finished a creditable 36th and Abi Brewster, 16th (10 kilos 780 grams) - not bad for two juniors.
Denise Hudgell clawed back the deficit with carp, bream and tench on her pole line, and another late and large fish on the end of her 12-peg section pushed Abi into third. She'd beaten Claire Dagnall a few pegs away and finished less than an ounce behind Sandra Scotthorne. The large fish she lost cost her not only the section, but a place in the televised Ladies' Fish o' Mania match.
For both Abi and Abbi however, the day was a great experience, as they rubbed shoulders with more than one world champion and several internationals. Talking of which, the match was won by Sam Perkins, with England teammate Julie Abbott runner-up.