One point separates £5k Matchman title leaders!

The race for the 2014/15 Matchman of the Year title is heating up with Guru’s Andy Bennett now a single point behind leader Lee Thornton and just over a month to go in the Angler’s Mail-run league.

With an unprecedented fifth title on the horizon for Andy, who has made up a huge points deficit in recent weeks, he continued his great form during his most recent match in the North East - a happy hunting ground for the amiable match ace in recent years.

Angling coach Andy told us: “Last Saturday saw me back to Partridge Lakes for the sixth round of the teams of four Winter League. We went into the day laying second overall, so I was hoping for a good draw to pull the four-point deficit back.

“Fellow Guru Connor Barlow was left to do the draw and he pulled out pegs 10, 38, 56 and 100. Steve Parry was handed peg 10 and this is a really poor draw - the peg has been bottom three or four every round, so not a good start. Connor drew himself peg 38, probably the worst peg in the match, again bottom three every round. Then Mickey Rogerson was handed 56 – realistically it could get top 3/4 but it’s very hard to win the lake. I was handed our best peg, 100, so hopefully I could get a lake win for the team. It was looking like we could slip further behind though.”

“My match was going to be quite simple - several lines on maggot then a bread rig set-up as this peg holds a lot of carp. I started the match on bread and never had a bite after 15 minutes of searching the peg, so I started my match on maggots across in 3ft of water. I got my first fish on my third chuck - a nice 2lb F1 but then that was it, only three fish in the first two hours and it wasn’t going to plan.”

“I decided to have another look on bread as the F1s didn’t seem to be feeding. After searching the peg a bit I got a bite on bread for a nice carp of around 4lb. Next chuck and I went back to the same spot and this is when my match turned around. I proceeded to catch ten carp in the next hour fishing bread 12" off the deck and with two hours to go I had 45lb in the net.”

“I had another look across on maggot but no more bites so I decided to spend the next hour on bread before going on my track line, which I’d been priming it with maggots all day. I managed to catch an odd carp to keep ticking over and with an hour to go I had a look down the track.”

“I had six decent F1s there before it died a death so I nipped back out for the last 10 minutes and put another two carp in the net on bread to finish with 14/15 carp and nine f1s for 73lb. This was enough to win the match overall and helped the team to a win on the day.”

Paz suffered in the wind from peg 10 for 14lb and 9th, Connor did brilliantly to catch 35lb from 38 to finish 2nd on his lake and Mickey had a steady 47lb for 3rd on his lake. We managed to claw back the deficit and are now back level overall with two rounds to go and I also managed to take the lead on the individual league with 10pts from six rounds.”

“With 40 on the match I also managed another four Matchman of the Year points and this now puts me just one point behind the leader - considering I was 25/30 points behind at one stage I’m delighted to have caught up and hopefully a few more good draws can see me retain my title from last year – finger’s crossed.”

“On Sunday I was back on there for the Open and just missed out overall but I managed a lake/section win from peg 48 with 42lb all on maggots and bread, similar to the day before.”

“Keep an eye out next week for another update on next weekend’s matches where hopefully I’ll be able to tell you I drew two fliers! Also, lastly I managed to pick up the award for Best Pole Angler 2015 and Best Pole Fishing Coach 2015 in this month’s Pole Fishing magazine, so I would just like to say thanks to everyone that voted for me – it’s much appreciated.”

With Andy scoring the aforementioned points after the table pictured above was published, to reduce the deficit to one point, the battle for the £5k winner’s cheque will make for a tense final few weeks in the Angler’s Mail-run league. Check out their latest issue for more details and the full table.