Ladies Carp Team England successfully defended their Anglo-Welsh Carp Cup title with a narrow victory over the Welsh at White Springs Fishery near Swansea
The match produced just five carp in total, with the four caught by Tania Williams and Sam Hoskins in section A proving to be decisive at the final hooter. A last-minute 40lb common by Natalie Chapman gave the Welsh the win in section B, meaning the match finished tied on seven points apiece (one point for a section win and three points for a blank), but England took the win thanks to their greater combined weight, giving them their second successive Clifford Cup.
Following a slow start to the match, Tania landed the first fish, a 12¼-pounder, on the Saturday morning to give England the lead, followed a few hours later by the capture of Hobhob at 38lb for Sam, which was also a new personal best. Later that afternoon, Tania added a second fish of 15lb 14oz to increase England’s advantage in the section to 66lb 2oz, which was increased with another fish for Sam later in the day.
With no further action in the night and the majority of the Sunday morning, it looked as though England were set to retain their title unopposed, but with seconds of the match remaining, Natalie’s buzzer sounded. With FIPS rules allowing 15 minutes for a fish to be landed after the hooter, Natalie guided the venue’s biggest common, Bruno, and a new personal best, to the net with minutes to spare.
Carp Team England manager Rob Hughes was present throughout the weekend. He said: “England deserved their win with a brilliant performance in the Welsh backyard, but without any shadow of doubt, once again, the greatest victor was women’s carp fishing. The support across social media was immense, and both teams represented their countries with the passion, dignity and respect you would expect from international sportsmen and women in any sport. Friendship and camaraderie within and between the teams shows that carp fishing is something that has great appeal to ladies out there. More and more women are taking up carp fishing in particular, and that is something to be celebrated.”
England will defend their title on home soil next year, but before then, both they and Wales will compete in a tri-nations event, alongside the Netherlands, at Wraysbury in June.