GOLD ON THE TAFF
International Rivers Match 28th June 2013
River Taff – Wales
The Welsh Rivers Team have been on something of a high recently, with a gold last year in Scotland, and a similar performance the last time the match was here in Wales, surely the pressure was on the Team this time to replicate those achievements. Would they be able to cope, especially with 2 “new caps” in the side?
The River Taff had dropped over the last week, it was low and clear. Not ideal conditions maybe for a “normal” days angling, without having to withstand the pressure of 20 of the best River anglers from the 4 home Countries. There had been intense pressure on the fish over the past few weeks as the teams had practiced hard to come up with some hopefully winning tactics. This was going to be a tough one, as most of these International Matches are.
At long last, Match day morning arrived. Most of the Competitors emerged around 6:30 am from their accommodation. It was not too difficult to distinguish the new caps from the 4 Countries. This was pressure, a lot was being asked of them. The Controllers started arriving around 7 am to be met, and briefed in their duties by Mark Williams (Willos) the Head Controller. The competitors were meant to have left around 8:30 for their beats, all were away by 8:15. They were itching to get going!
Start time (10:00 am) arrived and with tactical decisions made, they were off!
Wandering the beats, I could see only a little of the action. What was happening elsewhere on the beats, I had no idea. Only at lunch time after the first 2 sessions had ended would we get any real idea of how we were doing as a Team.
I got back to the Boys Club Troedyrhiw, (meeting place for lunch) early, to eagerly await information. The Competitors started arriving with stories of how their first 2 sessions had gone. It was clear we had had a good start. A good number of 1st beat positions were recorded, things were looking good. Then came news of a big fish too! Welsh Team member, Terry Bromwell from Beat B had recorded a huge fish of 63.4cms ! along with 2 session wins! Things were looking good indeed, could we hang on in there after the break?
Only time would tell.
The Match ended after a further 2 afternoon sessions at 6:00 pm. All the competitors and Controllers began arriving with their final score cards back at the Hotel. The score cards were all handed in, and the wait began. We knew we were in the running with a number of first positions again in the afternoon sessions. Surely we had done enough? I was convinced we had, but was not going to start celebrating until we had received Official confirmation.
Mr Ian Campbell, (IFFA International Secretary) emerged from the meeting room, shook my hand and said “Well done again”……………… It was Official…………………… Wales 1st, England 2nd, Ireland 3rd , and Scotland 4th .
The presentation dinner, later that night at the Bessemer Hotel was a fine place to be, (especially if you were Welsh!) Wales had a “clean sweep” of the 3 trophies on offer. Team first / top Individual and biggest fish. Terry Bromwell, in his first “full cap” had achieved a dream result, Top individual and biggest fish …..Very well done!
I would like to thank on behalf of the Welsh Team, the Merthyr Tydfil Angling Association, and especially Gary Davies / Tony Rees MBE / John Coombs and Mark (Willos) Williams for their hard work in the preparation and organisation of the whole event. The Beat and anglers controllers did a fantastic job as always, and many thanks to you too. And to all others who helped out in many ways.
Results such as this don’t just happen. It is all down to the hard work and preparation put in by the Team Captain (Allen Hughes) and all the Team members over many months leading up to the event. So I would like to thank Allen Hughes / Kieron Jenkins / Terry Bromwell / Sean Jones / Sion Lewis and Neil Ashman for their commitment and dedication to the cause over the past months, Well done all ….Enjoy the applause….You deserve it.
The Team would like to thank:
Gareth Harvey, of Harvey Angling.
Stephen Parkes, of Atomsix Fly rods.
For their generous support.
Wales Rivers Team Manager.