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Knockout Shield news

So the end of the season is here and with it the end of the rejuvenated Knockout shield for 2022-23.

The new format, head to head matches with the "home angler" picking the venue and pegs seems to have gone down a storm.

There have been some great matches from the off

Steve Parkin's 167lb win over Ethan Etherington's 125lb a stunning match, John Clarke's thumping of match captain Andy Reed 138lb to 60lb, Jamie Fosters ever so tight quarter final with Kris Collins and of course when fishery manager and this years Masters champion, Pete Lemon took Charlie the "cheese" to one of his favourite venues East Pond only to be beaten by a last minute eel !

All matches were fished with the enthusiasm and fun that I had hoped for and I thank you all for backing it and joining in on the match group posts.

Those knocked out in round one were entered into the "Plate" competition and that was whittled down to the finalists, Ben (The Silent Assassin) May versus Clive (The Not so Silent) Blount. The match took place at the amazing FLE fishery in Eastleigh thanks have to go to Ollie who cordoned off the prime pegs on the horse shoe for the boys to fish their final, after a hard fought match Ben came out on top, his 86lb beating Clive's 63lb.

And so the main event final !!! Paul Etherington against Jamie Foster

Paul had victories over Clive Blount ,John Coulson, Tony Bowell and Jim Stevens to get to the final, while Jamie beat John Clarke, Steve Sherwood, Kris Collins and Steve Parkin to make it into the last two.

Saturday saw the guys travel up to Warwickshire and as part of their prize for getting to the final a nights stay in a hotel was booked for them and their Caddies/Gillies/Bank runners, Paul taking son and England disabled team member Ethan

while in Jamie's corner was the in form "That Ben May" winner of the plate competition.

Sunday saw the boys meet up in the café of the famous Tunnel Barn Farm fishery where they were informed they would be fishing High pool, one of the 9 lakes at the fishery The staff had picked out two evenly rated pegs in 27 and 30 and had stopped anyone fishing between and around the guys thankyou to Sarah and her team for doing that for us.

Over a full English the draw was carried out putting Paul on 27 and Jamie on 30 these pegs meant that each angler would have a clear view of of what the other one was doing as they were opposite each other on the end of the lake.

With the aid of their assistants they set up and and at 10;30 the "all in" was given and the final was underway Paul went straight to the margins from the off while Jamie shipped out 16M to the island. Pauls fish count was at 12 while Jamie was on 1 the rest of the match saw both anglers swapping between their left and right margins and short straight in front of them The main stamp of fish were F1s of around a pound in weight some being smaller with the odd old f1 coming in at 3lb plus.

By the half way stage Jamie had managed to bring things back to level with the help of a carp and a 2lb perch, then in the fourth hour Paul put a lovely string of fish together to maybe go back into the lead, but with both anglers saying "no you've got more than me" it was impossible to know who was winning !

At 3:30 the all out was sounded and the knockout 22-23 was over, with many anglers watching the live feed on Facebook the weigh in began.

Paul was first to weigh and when his first net went on the scales at 44lb 9oz Jamie's mouth opened and he exclaimed have you got 2 like that????? Pauls second net of 40lb 6oz gave him a total 84lb 15oz

As the entourage made their way round to Jamie's peg with the scales, no one was prepared to predict the outcome Jamie hauled his first net out and it went57 3oz his second net as he pulled it from the water was obviously smaller but when it went 37lb 2oz his total 94lb 5oz meant that Jamie was the Knockout champion of the 2022-23 season.

Congratulations to both anglers for putting on a great and worthy final and to everyone else who has taken part. Entry for next seasons competition will open in April so please keep an eye out for a post with the details

Darren Stone.

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