This report courtesy of the National Coarse Fishing Federation of Ireland:

The traditional angling championship between the Celtic home nations was staged on the ‘Coalyard’ match stretch an area developed for coarse angling at the Albert Basin of the Newry Canal over the weekend of 14th & 15th October.

In support of new talent, the competition provided the opportunity to experience team fishing to international rule including juniors and women. Irelands under 18’s shone holding their own against the seniors with top angling from our female anglers, Deimante Karaliunaite and Mary Tigwell.

Celtic Cup 2023 Contestants

As the roach moved along the sections on day one the fishing was excellent with the catches of roach averaging 5kg per angler. Team Ireland ‘A’ won the day with 11.5 points, followed closely by Team Scotland ‘ Blue’ 13 points, and Ireland ‘B’ and Scotland ‘White’ both with 14 points. Day two started with the first frost of the season and bright sunshine with the fishing much harder on a flat calm canal. It was a better day for Team Wales and the ‘Red’ team finished with 11 points for a total 26 points, taking second position from Team Scotland ‘Blue’ but not enough to beat the excellent performance from the Ireland ‘A’ Team. A players Johnny Bailey, Phil Hartin, Caolan King and Robbie Smithers earnt 8.5 points for an overall 20 points to win the title!

Individually Phil Hartin, Ireland and Matt Powell, Wales both finished with a perfect 2-point score with the former winning on weight. Ireland’s Mary Tigwell took third position for her overall 4 points, winning the match overall on day one with 9.125kg.

The best young angler of the weekend goes to John Collins of Monasterevin, Co. Kildare for his top score of 8 points. Well done to John who wins a £100 voucher awarded by Newry BID in recognition of his efforts.

L-R Individual Winners Matt Powell_Wales 2nd, Phil Hartin_Ireland 1st, Mary Tigwell_Ireland 3rd

A total of 29 anglers and their managers spent four days fishing on the canal, including two days practise and preparation hosted by the National Coarse Fishing Federation of Ireland, NCFFI with sponsorship from the Loughs Agency.  The weeklong trip saw the visiting teams from Scotland and Wales enjoy the hospitality of the Canal Court Hotel and a dinner on Saturday night with the kind compliments of the Newry BID (Business Improvement District).

Oliver McGauley, Hon. President of the NCFFI wishes to convey his thanks to the sponsors and to Newry Mourne and Down District Council for their continued support and help in preparing the venue. Thank you to Vincent Walsh for making the event happen and to Aaron Hutchman and Sean Ward for their assistance. Most of all to all those who took part whose contribution reenforces the role of angling sport in the community.

A resounding success that Vincent hopes will encourage more people to come forward and experience team fishing with other likeminded individuals to prepare for the world stage as we look forward to next years event.

Please fish in a sustainable manner