Massive congratulations to the senior men’s Ireland shore fishing team, who were celebrating last night after winning the Home Nations Championship. Held at Weymouth on the south coast of England, this is even more impressive because they beat the English team on their home patch, on beaches where many of the English team practise regularly.
Captained by JP Molloy, no stranger to Irish teams, the senior team had a great start on DFay 1 with 3 zone wins, including captain Molloy and brothers Chris and David O’Sullivan from Tralee. They backed that up on Day 2, with JP again taking a zone win, and Darren Ryan and Stephen O’Donovan, the other members of the team, chipping in with a second zone win and a second place to finish on 30 points, just one point ahead of England in second spot. England are rarely beaten on their home soil, so this is a remarkable achievement by a great group of anglers.
And it was a case of incredibly hard luck for the fantastic under-16 team of Liam Davis, Shane O’Neill, Nathan de Kleer, Billy Gilvarry and Cameron Gilbert, who were pipped to the gold medal by England on a countback. Both teams were tied on 30 points, but England won it by two centimetres after hundreds of fish caught! A great performance from these young lads, many of whom will surely be featuring on senior Irish teams in the future.
The Youths team (u-21) also finished in a strong second place, losing by 4 points to England but well ahead of Scotland and Wales. Well done to Cian Corcoran, Bradley Kirwan, Finnian McCarthy, Noah Tahran and Eoin Foley who fished superbly and represented Ireland very well.
Unfortunately, the ladies team finished 4th in their competition, but this will be a learning experience on foreign soil, one that will stand them in good stead when it is Ireland’s turn to host the championship. They were in second place after Day 1, with 3 second placings to their name, but fell away on Day 2 a bit. Well done to Ava Marshall, Janet Snoddy, Liz McMahon, Rosaleene Murphy and Kaitlyn de Kleer.
The Youths and Ladies teams, with the flag of the Irish Federation of Sea Anglers, proudly representing the four provinces in England.Once again, well done and congratulations to all the anglers, and coaches and parents who travelled and made a great success of the event for Ireland!