Despite having the onerous task of running the day to day organisation of the Monaghan Pairs Festival on Lough Muckno, Dara Finnegan and Craig Ellis have once again eclipsed a formidable field to score another resounding win.

Into the final day they held a slender lead from a chasing pack of 5 pairs, but pulled away on Friday having successfully negotiated the dreaded open draw.

Finishing on a brilliant 14 points, with droppers taken into account, it would be remiss of us not to mention Elllis’ contribution of just 4 points or a super 4 section wins.

Runners up Brockie and Shep scored a super 17 points just edging out the magnificent young pair of McCrannor and Kirk on a splendid 18 points.

A couple of pairs finished on 20 pts but it was Dave Brooks and recently crowned World ladies champion Helen Dagnall who took 4th spot on weight count, with Worley and Inglis then holding onto a great 5th place and a nice podium pickup.

Fishing as ever was a class apart and a superb competition was enjoyed by all participants. The field this year while just ahead of last year numerically is a virtual who’s who in international angling, boasting no less than 5 members of the England squads which are the tops in the world at this time. Samantha Sim – a member of that star England team – competed this week as did some of the Worlds best under age anglers – England International world championship medal winners Joshua Derry, Will McCrannor and Billy Kirk.

Next year’s event is already drawing interest from a further group of England internationals, so those wishing to compete at the very highest level would do well to give this magnificent event some close scrutiny.

Lough Muckno

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