L-R Colin McKerrell, Daren Ferguson, Ian Whitson, Chris Paton (Captain), Davie Corcoran, James Woodrow, Ewan Weed, George Glen, Gus Brindle (Coach), Castelblaney Deputy Mayor
The competition was fished over two days on the White Island section of the Lough. Following two practice days fished in totally different conditions the weather for the weekend remained dry and, with phenomenal weights of roach being caught on both days the anglers were in full flow and there were plenty of very close battles to keep spectators guessing right up to the final whistle on both days. Indeed, with team members needing to catch between 120 and 150 fish in four hours the Scottish management team of Chris Paton and Gus Brindle were busy for the full two days passing information and adjusting tactics to keep the team focussed and catching consistently.
Due to the weather conditions during the two days of practice, the team plan was still evolving going in to day 1. The plan was to introduce 8 to 10 balls of groundbait containing worm and caster and a few dead red maggots on the pole line with 4 hand size balls at 30 mtrs on the waggler line; and then to top up whenever the catch rate slowed with small balls of groundbait and loosefed caster through the catapult. Best hook bait was double red maggot. After ending the first day in second place 3 points behind the Irish it was clear that we had got the plan almost right but felt that the fish needed more feed due to the numbers present and that we needed to get the bait down quickly to stop them coming up in the water. We therefore opted for a slightly darker groundbait mix for day 2, to put more caster and worm in the initial balls and then to top up with good handfuls of caster and balls of groundbait through a pole cup. We also found that when bites got difficult to hit, double caster on the hook laid just over depth often brought a run of best quality roach and also the odd skimmer bream. These changes proved to be the difference in what was an extremely close result on day 2 as the Irish caught more fish in many of the sections but of a small stamp.
A full copy of the team and individual results and weight for each day are below.
Scottish International Manager said, “After regaining the Cup at home last year we were determined to do our best to keep it. We knew however that it was going to be a challenge with both Ireland and Wales fielding strong teams and Ireland having the all important home advantage and knowledge of the venue. The Celtic Cup whilst fiercely competitive over the two days of competition is however extremely important as a development ground and our squad contained two new caps in Darrin Fergusson and Colin McKerrell, both of whom fished exceptionally well with Colin ending up as Top Jock with section wins on both days. The fishing was incredible with the 21 competitors banking 284 kg and 580g of fish on day one and 276 kg and 810g on day two, an average of over 13kg per angler per day. The Irish Federation, and particularly their manager Dick Caplice, must be congratulated for running an outstanding event which involved an enormous amount of effort to prepare the venue, and for the excellent hospitality we received everywhere we went in and around Castleblaney. This emphatic win is just what the squad needed and sets us up well for the forthcoming trip to Holland for the World Championship in Almere later this month and I am confident that if we fish as well there we will get a good result.”