The NCFFI Junior All Ireland Championships took place on Saturday on Garadice Lake, Ballinamore, Co Leitrim.
A record 46 Junior anglers, including 7 girls took part in the event from all over Ireland. Weather conditions remained fine throughout the competition; however a strong breeze meant that feeder fishing proved to be the most popular method on the day.
The Novices section was the best supported with an entry of 21 anglers, some of them on the bank for the very first time. Winning this category was Eoin Rogers with a fine 3.600kgs catch on peg 7 at Haughton’s Shore. Runner up was 8 year old Rhys Walsh with a catch of 2.020 kgs on peg1. Completing the generous prize list in this section were 3rd Darragh McNulty with 1.670kgs on peg 13, 4th 9 years old Erin Bohan 0.860kgs on peg 9 and 5th Cillian Dolan 0.510kgs on peg 6.
The Junior (U14) section had an entry of 10 anglers and was fished on Church Shore pegs 1-10 ‘Grassy Bank’. Individual winner was Ryan Brady, Killeshandra CAC with 4.020kgs on peg 6, and Ryan Watson runner up with 1.790kgs on peg 9. Completing the prize list in this category was 3rd Liam McEvilly 1.600kgs and 4th Cillian Flynn with 1.040kgs.
The Senior (U18) section had an excellent entry of 15 anglers and was fished on Church Shore pegs 26 to 40 ‘Deeps’. Individual Winner was 16 year old James O Doherty of the Erne Anglers Club in Enniskillen with 6.650kgs. This is the second time James has been NCFFI All Ireland Junior Champion having previously won the title in 2012 aged 14. Runner up in a very close affair was Hayden Kellegher from the Anglers Rest Club in Ballyconnell with 5.390kgs; he narrowly beat Mark Connolly’s 5.370kgs at the next peg. Completing the prize list in 4th place was Lee Harris with 4.490kgs.
At the prize giving for the event Jack Tisdall, Vice-Chairman NCFFI thanked the sponsors for their support; Irish Bait and Tackle Limited – for providing free fresh bait for all the competitors, Sensas Ireland who provided everyone with a bag of groundbait and a discourger as well as contributing to the prizes and to Trabucco Ireland, Tubertini UK and Southside Angling for the tackle prizes.
He also thanked the local club Lakelands Angling Ballinamore and in particular Mary Ward and Gabriel Owens for their help in the preparation of the venue. Thanks were also expressed to the Ballinamore Scout Group for the use of their hall for the draw also providing tea & coffee for the adults, Seanie Ward NCFFI for running the draw and to Smyth’s Bar & Restaurant for their hospitality at the prize presentation.
The NCFFI also expressed their thanks to the parents and coaches that gave their time to ensure that all the children had a positive experience and last but not least to everyone who made the effort to come and take part today,in particular those who made the long trip from Dublin. It’s great to see so many of youngsters on the bank!