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One for my record book - Dick.

Byline: BARRY JAMES

MATCH organiser Dick Derrington has been staging matches for 30 years and thought he'd seen it all - until he conducted the weigh-in at this week's JCD Festival qualifier at Larford Lakes, Stourport.

There were only 23 contestants in the field, but when the last man's bag had been put on the scales, it was shown that a staggering aggregate of 1,285lb had been pulled in during the five-hour match.

That's an average of 58lb per man and none of the carp exceeded 1lb!

'It's the most extraordinary match I've ever staged,' gasped Derrington. 'If there had been a 100 in the field it would be understandable, but with only 23 fishing it was one for my personal record book. Every time bait was thrown in the water, it literally fizzed with fish.'

The JCD qualifier was a Maver-sponsored event so it was perhaps appropriate that the top two places were won by Maver-Oldham clubmen. Keith Hyde totalled 98-14-8. Most of the carp were to 12 oz and it needed 40lb for 22nd place!

There are two more JCD qualifiers before the finals on the Avon at Evesham over the Bank Holiday weekend and it really will be the final curtain after 25 years for what was formerly the John Smith's Bitter Championship.

Elsewhere, Sutton Coldfield's Mick Phillips, who has been dominating the open scene at The Riddings, Grendon, took a huge step further - three steps, in fact - when he landed his first century (107lb) and followed with two 108lb bags. His latest No.1 spot was achieved with a 'mere' 92lb.

The success of the inaugural Bewdley Festival means that joint organisers Dave Harrell and Matt McGinnis have promised that the event will be repeated next year, whether a sponsor is found or not.

At the presentations, there was a thoughtful touch from winner John Stockton (Starlets Vets) and runner-up Harrell. Each won a new rod which they promptly passed on to Paul Field, who had equipment stolen from his car.
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Title Annotation:Angling
Publication:Sunday Mercury (Birmingham, England)
Date:Aug 11, 2002
Words:335
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