Matchman of the Year goes to the wire!

Reigning Angler’s Mail Matchman of the Year champion Andy Bennett will have his work cut out this weekend if he is going to retain his title, but it is still possible!

Guru match star Andy, who has won the title an amazing five times already, has fallen five points behind Lee Thornton with just this weekend’s matches remaining and a total of ten points up for grabs, so he is going to need a big slice of luck if he is going to be crowned champion again.

In reality he will probably need Lee to fail to score any points, whilst he himself wins his matches on both days, which will rely on a huge slice of luck when it comes to the draw for swims on both days, especially at this time of the year when that can be more important and the fish are grouped tighter.

Andy revealed: “The last round of the teams of four winter league at Partridge Lakes saw the Guru team of myself, Connor Barlow, Steve Parry and Mickey Rogerson hold onto second place overall.

“I also managed to win the individual league overall with 8 points from six matches, ahead of the 12 points that took second place. On the last round I was handed peg 53 and I managed to win the match overall with 95lb of fish on maggot and bread, which was my best weight all winter and a good way to end the league.

“That gave me four points in the Matchman of the Year and kept me joint top on 117 points, but then on the Sunday I drew terribly and could only manage eight fish from peg 88.

“Last weekend was colder and I managed a lake win on Saturday from peg 137 on Covey 6, but it wasn’t enough to frame. On Sunday I drew peg 58 and it was close to the flier pegs, but not quite close enough!

“I had a good start, catching eight fish in the first hour, but with the peg being so narrow you are limited to drawing fish in and with the cold weather and all the snowfall we’d had the previous couple of days there wasn’t a lot of fish feeding and I was biteless for the next three hours!

“In the last year I finally got a bite down the middle and then had a good run of 11 fish, to finish with a 19 fish total for 36lb odd, which was enough for fifth overall and one point, although one more point would have been enough for second and an extra three points!

“That could be very costly as Lee won on the Sunday and I’m now five points behind and with a massive hill to climb, but winter fishing can be very simple if you are on the fish, and with two good pegs anything is possible and I won’t be giving up just yet.”