Paul McLoughlin reports on the Easter Two Festival fished last week on Muckno…

Harwood prevails in the end, over Muckno hard man O’ Neill in a nail biting finish which saw just over a single kilo separate them.

Having had an indifferent draw to say the least on 121 White Island Steve Harwood set about grinding out the last gramme, knowing that O’ Neill the chasing danger man was heading brim full of cockiness to his favourite Black Island and would surely come back with 6kgs plus.

Steve’s peg had been a hard nut to crack all week but his confidence was sky high and he was backing himself to do close to 6kgs to hold Rory at all cost and a must do, given that less than 1.5 kgs separated them .
Remarkably Rory tied with another venue specialist Seamus Winters for top weight of the day on 6.400kgs while lo and behold, in came Steve Harwood on 6.325 kgs just 75 grammes back and we knew then then that the game was up.

Lough Muckno
Lough Muckno

Rory, not one to rely on hard luck stories or fishy excuses around ravenous pike, acknowledged the fine performances of a brilliant Steve Harwood all week, while at the same time, breathing a sigh of relief, knowing that his battle to hold off a resurgent Mick Smith in third place, with 6.2kgs today, was also successful.
Conor Browne and Derek Buckley made their determined individual charges today but came up just short for the top three positions, ending in 4th and 5th respectively, for a nice share of the €4800 prize fund, which included, all entries, all optional pools and significant sponsorship.

Steve Harwood
Steve Harwood

Spare a thought for Rory Dunne the overnight 4th place occupant who slipped to 8th, due to his inability at the draw bag, being the poorest drawer on the Festival, only overshadowed by his brother Shane who could not draw stickmen all week.
Just out of the frame, Seamus Winters as usual put up a fierce challenge as did Julian Kendrick and Paul Leese who will rebound all, on this great venue in July, if not before.
Alberto Falcomer the top Italian raider ended in 10th spot after a spirited performance in which he and his fellow Italian competitors gave good accounts and thoroughly enjoyed their weeks stay, vowing to return for more of the same, before years end.
Just this time we go outside the top ten, to mention a very young and able first timer to our festivals, in the form of Conor Gaughan, in a superb 11th spot, overshadowing, on this occasion some very, very, top class competition.
We closed out our Easter Festivals series this evening with an after festival meal at the old Coach Inn, courtesy of our friend and patron Raymond Watters who along with his class staff, did us proud all week once again.
“Silver’s fishing at its very best” is how the victor Steve Harwood describes his 8 days with us and he is listed on all our Festivals for the remainder of 2017, along with a large entourage of top UK competitors, watching his every move this week while egging him on, on social media, particularly on our Facebook page, which achieved over 30,000 visits, over both Festivals.

The winners
The winners

We thank all of our competitors, all 60 over the two Festivals which lasted in total 7days, with pre matches, for their continued loyalty and support and with the interest already flagged for the remainder of the Lough Muckno Festival series during 2017, we are confident that our sponsors will continue to support us and by definition you the anglers, who are ultimately the ones to gain through our Festivals uniquely attractive prize funding and a host of other unique Festival plus features.

Winners Overall:

  • 1st Steve Harwood KG26.100 €1000 plus pools and sections
  • 2nd Rory O’ Neill KG 24.700 €750 plus pools and sections
  • 3rd Mick Smith KG 20.77 €500 plus pools and sections
  • 4th Conor Browne KG 19.225 €350 plus pools and sections
  • 5th Derek Buckley KG 18.525 €150 plus pools and sections
Results table
Results table

Congratulations All.
Big thanks Irish bait and tackle, superb, as always.

Report courtesy of