Minsthorpe anglers target nationial prize

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YOUNG anglers from Minsthorpe Community College will aim to prove they’re amongst the best in the country when they compete in this month’s NFA Schools National Angling competition, writes Nick Rigg.

The college will send three teams of five young anglers to the prestigious event, held at Hallcroft Fishery in Retford on Wednesday, July 20.

Up to 24 youngsters have been training at Owl Barn Fishery in South Kirkby in a bid to be part of the teams travelling to compete in Nottinghamshire.

The college is aiming to make a return to the days in which they were billed as the team to beat not so long ago.

Between 1996 and 2008 Minsthorpe won the National Schools title a remarkable eight times and finished runners-up three times.

Their success produced some top-drawer anglers, including Nicky Crooks who still holds the school record haul of 99lb 10oz.

Others who have gone on to become excellent anglers include Mick Bower, Allan Taylor and Adrian Burrows.

Kevin Armstrong and Barrie Spencer, both ADB angling coaches, have since taken charge of Minsthorpe’s young angling teams and are hoping to guide them to success at Hallcroft.

They’ve been present at Owl Barn over the last eight weeks to keep a watchful eye over the youngsters that have attended sessions to make up the three teams that will compete against the best young anglers from around the country.

Thomas Whalley won the latest session with a catch of 20lb 2oz, winning the match in convincing fashion.

Ben McMichael took second place with a haul of 12lb 12oz, while Lewis Collis completed the top three with a final weight of 12lb 10oz.

The coaches will make their final selections for the three teams to take part in the National Schools tournament next week and Minsthorpe will be confident of achieving success.

See this week’s Hemsworth and South Elmsall Express for all the latest sports news from around the area.