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Hodgets and Baker cook up a storm on The Grand Union



The Grand Union Canal hosted the fourteenth round of the Angling Trust and Canal and River Trust pair championships. All the talk pre draw was that Bonus fish may well be required to qualify with local sections fishing very hard in the run-up to the match, however the canal had other ideas throwing up decent weights of silvers from many areas.

A section was pegged near Stoke Bruerne and certainly threw up the better weights, the top two included. It was clear from the outset that there were numbers of silvers in most of the pegs and it was the anglers that had a bit of space and got their heads down that reaped the rewards. Fishing end peg A16 Stephen Lathwell took the honours with an impressive 7lb 8oz which was mainly comprised of Roach. Second in section was peg A13 Matthew Hodgets who put together 5lb 15oz 12dr with a couple of decent perch and roach. Third place in A section went to Peter Laughton who drew end peg A1 where the Tove met the Canal. Peter caught a good net of Roach and perch for 4lb 7oz 8dr.

B Section was pegged on the Grafton Regis stretch and although produced lower weights the competition was fierce for points. Andy Carter made the most of his end peg B16 draw and put together a noteworthy 3lb 10oz of roach and perch. Second on the section from peg B1 was Ian Baker who only narrowly missed out on top points by 2oz with 3lb 8oz and rounding out the top three was Roger Evans who ran Ian close on 3lb 5oz 4dr.

Moving onto the all-important winning pairs Matthew Hodgets and Ian Baker were the standout winners, both coming second in section and gaining 12 points each to amass their 24 point total. There was then very little to choose between the next five pairs, however edging second was B section winner Adam Carter who was backed up by a Solid performance by his partner Michael Marsden on six points for a cumulative 19 points. Third and final qualifying pair on the day after a very close weight countback were Paul Keal and Wayne Robinson with 18 points and a critical 2oz 12dr advantage over the next pair Barry Smith and Ian Orbell!

Our thanks must go to Chris Howard and his team at Northampton Nene for a well-run qualifier.


1. Matthew Hodgets and Ian Baker 24 points

2. Michael Marsden and Adam Carter 19 points

3. Paul Keal and Wayne Robinson 18 points (5lb 13oz 8dr)

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