Despite Drennan Team England returning to the venue that they had taken individual medals from in previous years it was always going to be a tough contest in European Championships on Spain’s River Guadiana with the Italian team looking particularly useful.
Drennan Team England consisted of Des Shipp, Sean Ashby, Steve Hemingray, Will Raison, Steve Gardner and Alan Scotthorne, and Joint Managers, Mark Downes and Mark Addy.
On day one Drennan Team England finished just two points adrift of Italy with 31 points against 29 but the match was won on the second day when the Italians showed their class. At the close silver was probably a fair result as the Italians, who fielded a relatively inexperienced team, were far better tactically, felt at home in the 40 degree plus temperatures and had a better knowledge of how to feed under such conditions.
Mark Downes commented:
“The team’s push to win faltered on day two as we underestimated the amount of big carp that would show. We elected to pot in at 13 metres as we did on day one, which on hindsight was wrong as we struggled to compete with the Italians who registered just 16 points to our 40, our negative approach on day two saw Alan Scotthorne and Steve Gardner fall to 12th in the sections as other teams who fed positively went past them as the match progressed and despite losing a few fish and the fact we drew two difficult snaggy swims we cannot fault the Italian performance.”
On the positive side Will Raison finished fifth overall by winning his section and the match on day two with 30kg of carp and carrassio.
Dick Clegg, International Events Manager of the Angling Trust said:
“I was not surprised when managers Mark Downes and Mark Addy made only one change from their 2010 World Championship team that had been successful in Merida. Steve Hemingrey replaced Stuart Conroy for this event and I know that the management were very confident in the team’s ability and were very hopeful of winning on the venue for a second time.
The Italians made a complete change to their full team and brought in six younger anglers to give them international experience and it paid huge dividends. I do expect Drennan Team England to bounce back when they go to the Czech Republic in September for the World Championships but it’s hats off this time to the Italians for taking such a huge gamble with their team selection.”
1st Mario Mateos Doncel, Spain 2.0 points
2nd Simone Carraro, Italy 3.0 points
3rd Yury Siptsov, Russia 4.0 points
4th Stefano Premoli, Italy 5.0 points
5th Will Raison, England 6.0 points
1st Italy 45.0 points
2nd England 71.0 points
3rd Serbia 76.5 points
4th Germany 80.0 points
5th Belgium 83.0 points
Drennan Team England results:
19th Des Shipp 13.0 points
26th Steve Gardener 15.0 points
28th Alan Scotthorne 16.0 points
107th Steve Hemingray 29.0 points
112th Sean Ashby 38.0 points