ENG­LAND MISS OUT ON GOLD HAT-TRICK – ‘BEATEN BY THE BET­TER TEAM’ SAYS TOMMY

World Feeder squad bows to Ger­man cham­pi­ons

Angling Times (UK) - - SOUTH -

RESTON In­no­va­tions Eng­land’s quest to win a third-in­suc­ces­sion Feeder World Champs gold in Ser­bia ended in dis­ap­point­ment as Tommy Pick­er­ing’s men sur­ren­dered an overnight lead to fin­ish with the sil­ver medal.

Sit­ting on just nine penalty points af­ter the open­ing day of ac­tion on the Novi Sad Canal, Eng­land, the five-man team of Steve and Phil Ringer, Adam Wake­lin, Mick Vials and Dean Bar­low suf­fered a bit of a slump with 25 points on Sun­day.

How­ever, even­tual win­ners Ger­many – sec­ond on the open­ing day with 11 points – were a model of con­sis­tency, to­talling 10 points to fin­ish with 21. That was 13 clear of Eng­land, with Aus­tria tak­ing the bronze medal.

There was also an in­di­vid­ual medal for the team as 2014 World Cham­pion and An­gling Times colum­nist Steve Ringer se­cured sil­ver. He was one of four men to record a per­fect two sec­tion wins. Team-mate Adam Wake­lin also notched up two points, but with weight com­ing into play, Steve was knocked back into sec­ond be­hind Ger­man World Champ Jens Dirk­sen. Adam ended up tak­ing fourth, with bronze head­ing to Ger­man an­gler Felix Scheur­mann.

“We al­ways fish to win. Tak­ing sec­ond is a dis­ap­point­ment, but I can han­dle it if I’m happy that the team did all it could to take gold and that we were beaten by the bet­ter team – that was true on both counts in Ser­bia, so sil­ver is a happy medal to win,” said man­ager Tommy.

“Ger­many were fan­tas­tic over both days and just like last year in Hol­land, they had the lit­tle things go their way which you do need to win at this level. That takes noth­ing away from their per­for­mance, though. They were wor­thy cham­pi­ons.”

A tremen­dous open­ing day with four sec­tion win­ners set Eng­land up for what seemed to be a record third gold in a row. The team’s ‘mud line’ plan of find­ing a patch of soft muddy bot­tom where they could catch both cat­fish and skim­mers worked to per­fec­tion, and they saw no need to change tack on the Sun­day.

“What we’d found in prac­tice was that you could catch cat­fish and skim­mers off the same line and on the same cast too,” Tommy ex­plained. “If you were go­ing to get a skim­mer, it would come within 10 or 15 sec­onds of the feeder hit­ting the wa­ter.

“If noth­ing hap­pened, you could drag the feeder across the bot­tom. Of­ten, a cat­fish would have hold of the bait and it would be on. This line was typ­i­cally 22m-25m out.”

To the ground­bait Eng­land added joker and chopped worm in what was to be a clas­sic small-fish match with three blood­worms the best hook­bait, chang­ing to a small piece of worm if cat­fish were the target.

Av­er­ag­ing 2oz apiece, the cats were small but plen­ti­ful, while the skim­mers were 2oz to 1lb.

“Come Sun­day’s match though, some­thing changed,” Tommy con­tin­ued. “B and C sec­tions fished re­ally hard and I think we got car­ried away with try­ing to catch too many fish, rather than be­ing more pa­tient and fish­ing a lit­tle neg­a­tively.

“I should have seen that com­ing and made the change. The fish­ing went dead for ev­ery­one in the sec­ond half of the match and by then we’d missed out on the early spell when there were a few fish to be caught.

“It’s odd to win six sec­tions out of 10 in a World Champs and only fin­ish in sil­ver medal po­si­tion but in the end I was re­lieved. If the match had gone on for an­other 15 min­utes, I don’t think we’d have got that!” he laughed. “I’ve also got to pay trib­ute to

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