Perfect conditions and an extremely busy Larford Lakes complex witnessed Middy-man, Peter Upperton, secure UK match angling's richest prize after winning the sport's most prestigious final. Saturday 5th September marked the fifth annual Mega Match This Grand Final with twenty four anglers going head-to-head on the prolific Match lake, all hopeful of lifting the iconic Mega Match This trophy in front of friends, family, supporters and, of course, Sky Sports. The Mega Match This event, once again, reaffirmed it's status amongst the UK angling fraternity as being the Premier event that every angler now wants to win after it was announced during the exclusive Gala evening event the night prior to the final, the 2015 Mega Match This Champion would receive a winner's cheque for £65,000 - £5,000 more than received by previous Champion, Chris Cameron and nearly doubling the prize fund of the next richest angling event in the country, Fish O Mania!
It was the belief of many during the build up to the final the 2015 event, like others before it, would be very much a match of two halves with anglers looking to boost the weight achieved during the more difficult first half of the match being off-set against the notoriously productive final ninety minutes. This year's final did not buck the trend and produced arguably the most exciting finish to any of the Match This finals to date with any one of several anglers being in with a chance of topping the field with half of the match still remaining. Young Alix Feeney, who had caught well from the off was amongst the front-runners as was Kerry Kirkwood, Perry Stone, Brian Loader, Match This danger man, Andy Power, Lee Thornton and Frankie Gianoncelli - all had caught steadily during the first couple of hours, setting themselves up nicely for a strong finish and giving themselves plenty of opportunity to challenge for the title. A noticebale absence from the list of potential front-runners was Peter Upperton. However, as many who know Larford Lakes well will testify, everything can change during the infamous 'witching hour' if the larger carp decide to feed in numbers down the edge late on.
Going into the final hour of the contest all eyes were fixed firmly on Kerry Kirkwood and Frankie Gianoncelli, both of whom upped their performance during the final throws of the match. Kerry, who was on permanent peg number 46, was certainly the busier of the two, but Frankie found himself amongst a better stamp of fish on Match This peg 18 (permanent peg 52) enjoying a very fruitful end to his match alternating between pole and pellet short and his right sided margin. Lee Thornton had also found the fish late on and was putting a decent weight together fishing short as was young Birmingham-based rod, Philip Canning on permanent peg 58. Peter Upperton had drawn Match This peg number 20 (permanent peg number 56) placing him midway along the burr bank and had struggled for the first half of the match. However, timing his move to his inside line to perfection, Pete soon found himself trying to tame a typical Larford edge fish nearing double-figures. Fishing meat in the margins, Peter found a number of good-sized fish to turn his match around and stage a remarkable run of fish which saw him climb the leader board a place or two with nearly every other fish. During the final hour of the match, the burr bank came to life with large edge fish being caught in numbers on Match This pegs 16, 18, 20 and 21. No one, it seemed, could match Pete's catch rate, who at this stage of the match was beginning to get into his stride.
Pete's run of late edge fish continued right until the all out was announced. By the time the scales had made their way round to the burr bank, it was Brian Loader topping the field having offered 29.420kg of method feeder fish to the scales from fancied Match This peg 12 (permanent peg 28). However, once on the burr bank, the scales registered 32.320 kilos for Middy's Lee Thornton from permanent peg 48 to give him a very short lived lead before Preston's Frankie Gianoncelli registered 40.760kg from Match This peg 18 (permanent peg 52).
All eyes were now on Peter Upperton, who was the last remaining angler to weigh in on the burr bank that looked likely of finishing in the mainframe. Three separate weighs confirmed a total of 48.920kg, which was enough to confirm his place at the top of the field and enter his name into the history books as the fifth Mega Match This Champion.
Upon being confirmed 2015 Champion in front of an ever-growing crowd gathering on the burr bank, Pete commented: "I can't believe it! I had only caught three fish with two hours to go. I fed my right hand margin with some meat, left it for five minutes before going over it and had one straight away. I said to my bank runner, Robbie Taylor, that this was it - now's my chance. The margins fish at Larford are so big I was just happy to catch a few, but I didn't know if it was going to be enough. I was beginning to run out of bait towards the end of the match so it was a little touch and go!".
Peter had enjoyed a fantastic run of form going into the Mega Match This Grand final. Just a few weeks before the main event itself, Peter secured the Maver Pairs title with bank runner Rob Taylor before finishing runner-up during this year's Maver British Pole Championship event. Peter now joins the likes of Andy Power, Les Thompson, Zac Brown and Chris Cameron in being one of a very select niche of anglers that have laid claim to UK match angling's ultimate prize - the Mega Match This trophy and five-figure pay day.
|Angler's Name||Weight (KGs)||Perm Peg / MT Peg||Winnings|
|Peter Upperton (Middy)||48.920||56 (20)||£65,000||Frankie Gianoncelli (Preston Innovations)||40.760||52 (18)||£5,000|
|Lee Thornton (Middy)||32.320||48 (16)||£3,000||Brian Loader||29.420||28 (12)||£1,000*||Philip Canning||26.980||58 (21)||£1,000*||Alix Feeney (Matrix / Waynes Tackle)||21.020||44 (14)||£1,000*|
|Jamie Wilde (Colmic / Marukyu)||19.340||6 (1)||£1,000*|
|Andy Power (Preston Innovations)||18.800||18 (7)||Kerry Kirkwood||16.980||46 (15)|
|Carl Williams (Colmic / Got Baits)||16.360||60 (22)||Perry Stone (Spro)||15.540||50 (17)||Sam Brown (Maver)||13.720||8 (2)||Mark Wainwright (Ossett / Colmic)||13.260||42 (13)|
|Jon Whincup (Frenzee / Bait-Tech)||13.200||54 (19)|
|Lee Harrison (Drennan)||13.140||24 (10)||Ben Fisk (Middy)||11.060||22 (9)|
|Matthew Arnold||10.620||26 (11)||Adrian Hull (Maver)||9.740||64 (24)|
|Les Marshall (Barnsley Baits)||8.860||14 (5)||Chris Cameron (Middy / Old Ghost)||7.760||16 (6)||Lee Cowlan (Miracle Baits)||7.700||20 (8)||Matthew Higgins (Neptune Angling)||5.620||12 (4)|
|Ben Sharp (Preston Innovations Blackhorse)||5.120||10 (3)|
|Graham Dack (Maver)||2.480||62 (23)|
*indicates section winner
Peter Upperton caught the majority of his winning catch on meat fished down his right hand margin to take a late run of carp well into double-figures from Match This peg number 20 to end the match with 48.920 kilos.
Preston's Frankie Gianoncelli secured runner-up spot from Match This peg 18 (permament peg 52) weighing in 40.760 kilos. Again, like many anglers pegged on the burr bank, Frankie endured a slow start to proceedings managing to put together very little with three hours gone. Switching to pole and pellet short at top five, Frankie found a number of good-sized fish to 10lbs to enjoy a very productive thirty five minute spell which saw him record around 18 kilos in four fish! Frankie then focused on his right hand edge to find odd carp to dead maggots over groundbait. For the remainder of the match, Frankie alternated between both his short line and edge line to finish just 8 kilos shy of Pete's winning weight to collect £5,000.
Taking the last remaining mainframe position, and receiving £3,000, was Middy's Lee Thornton. Fishing from permanent peg 48 (Match This peg number 16), Lee started his match short at just 6m on meat. A great start was unfortunately nullified by a quiet three hour period mid-match which saw Lee foul hook two fish on the long pole before switching back to his short 6m line after his margins failed to show any signs of producing bites. Lee enjoyed a strong fourth hour to put a steady run of fish together and end the day offering 32.320kg to the scales.
A big congratulations also goes to this years section winners in Jamie Wilde, Brian Loader, Alix Feeney and Philip Canning. Jamie weighed in a total of 19.340 kilos from a notoriously difficult area that has yet to produce in a Mega Match This final to confirm a place within the top ten.
Brian Loader managed a superb fourth place finish overall. Brian, who by his own admission was one of the rank outsiders before the final, drew fancied permanent peg 28 (Match This peg number 12) and fished a great match coping with the added pressure of being on an excellent peg admirably. Brian caught the majority of his fish on the method feeder to weigh in 29.420 and collect a cool £1,000.
Also collecting £1,000 after topping his six-man section was young Alix Feeney. Alix, who is the competition's youngest ever finalist at just twenty years old, weighed in 21.020 kilos from permanent peg 44 (Match This peg 14).
Birmingham-based youngster Philip Canning (23) also confirmed a section win collecting £1,000 from peg 58 (Match This peg 21) weighing in 26.980kg.
Less than twenty four hours after Middy's Peter Upperton had been confirmed 2015 Maver Mega Match This Champion, a host of the country's finest commercial anglers came together to compete in the Mega Match This Team Championship event. The team event is now into it's fourth year and attracts some of the best teams in country, all of whom have their sights firmly fixed on the impressive team trophy and four-figure payout. This year's talented field included the likes of Daiwa Dorking, Drennan Barnsley Blacks, Kamasan Starlets, Shakespeare Superteam and Maver Image to name just a few. Going into the event, many were tipping Daiwa Dorking to win their second Match This Team Championship title. However, that was until the draw, which saw Maver (UK) Elite with three of their four anglers placed on end pegs.
Conditions on the day were not ideal with bright sunshine and a changeable wind hampering the efforts of most. As was the case on the Mega Match This Grand Final the day before, the 2015 Mega Match This Team Championship event was very much a match of two halves with anglers struggling to find the fish in numbers to begin with before the margins came to life and transformed the days events for some.
Winning team on the day, and NEW Mega Match This Team Champions were Maver (UK) Elite. The team, which comprised of venue experts Martin Churchill, Dale Shepherd, Paul Cook and Andy Kinder scored a total of sixteen (16) points. Martin Churchill found himself on peg 39 on the Match lake in 'A' section and caught well for the first half of the match singling out individual fish up in the water before switching to his rand hand margin to boost his earlier catch with quality fish from down his edge. At the end of the five hours, Martin offered 61.900 kilos to the scales to not only win his section, but to claim overall individual victory to boot.
Dale Shepherd found himself on the Arena lake on peg 29 in 'B' section (shared with the Match burr bank). Again, Dale enjoyed a great start to proceedings finding carp in numbers up in the water. However, as the match progressed, Dale's catch rate began to falter but still managed to finish third on the lake. However, the burr bank of the Match lake had produced some big weights which saw Dale finish tenth in his seventeen man section with a level 30kg.
Paul Cook had been placed on the Specimen lake before the match and drew end peg 34 on the burr bank on the morning. It was a tense four hours for Paul before managing to find the fish very late on down his right hand margin during the final hour of the match. Paul's experience at Larford shone through as he kept his composure throughout and made the most of Larford's infamous edge fish once they showed in his peg. Paul put together an impressive last minute flurry of quality fish to weigh in 33.680 kilos and confirm a section win earning a valuable point for his team mates.
Team Captain Andy Kinder drew end peg 50 on the chalet bank of the Specimen lake. Fishing the method feeder, Andy found quality carp and odd bream to weigh in 23.990 kilos to confirm a fourth place finish in 'D' section to help secure the £2,000 winner cheque and accompanying silverware.
Finishing in runner-up spot were the mighty Daiwa Dorking side. The team, which included Pemb Wrighting, Myles Levy, Paul Hiller and Paul Holland, managed a total score of twenty one (21) points - a second in section from 'Tommy' on the Specimen burr bank being the stand out performance for the squad.
Third place was taken by John Weeden's Maver Image side. The team of four finished the day with twenty four (24) points with a section win from Jimmy Brooks topping the side's individual performance weighing in 16.040 kilos. Glen Butler managed a third in section from peg 62 on the Specimen chalet bank offering 32.140kg to the scales.
On the individual front it was the winning team that provided first place, with Martin Churchill topping the sixty eight man field. Maver team Image rod Jimmy Brooks was the best of the rest with 60.740 kilos from peg 51 on the Match lake, while Alan's Tackle man Chris Senter slotted into third place thanks to a 56.160kg effort.
|Team Name||Cum. Pts||Cum. Weight (KGs)||Winnings|
|Maver (UK) Elite||16||149.570||£2,000||Daiwa Dorking||21||117.220||£1,500|
|Maver Image||24||125.250||£1,000||Team Marukyu||26||100.920||Preston Innovations Delcac||27||96.540||Shakespeare Superteam||27||87.960|
|Team Poland||32||78.360||Matrix Dynamite Trentman||36||84.240|
|Kamasan Starlets||38||77.300||Frenzee South West||40||77.980||Alan's Tackle||42||86.700||Maver Larford||42||64.340|
|Drennan Barnsley Blacks||44||52.260|
|Maver Midlands||47||59.760||Sensas England U18s||49||59.220|
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Frequently Asked Questions
How do I buy tickets?
In order to buy tickets for the event, you will first need to register an account. Simply click the 'Login / Registration' link once ticket sales go live and follow the on screen instructions. Please note, if you registered for a "Match This" ticket during the 2011, 2012, 2013 or 2014 campaign, you can login to purchase a 2015 ticket using the same e-mail address and password. You do NOT have to register again.
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Can I purchase tickets using my smart phone?
NO. We recommend tickets are purchased via a desktop or laptop computer to ensure the best compatability with the site.
How much does it cost?
Match This will cost £50 per qualifier to enter with anglers being able to enter as many qualifiers as they wish.
What is the format?
There are 24 qualifying events throughout the country, held at the most professional and popular fisheries. The winner of each 120 peg qualifying event will progress through to the Grand Final. The Grand Final event will take place on Saturday 5th September 2015.
Unlucky enough to finish second in a qualifier?
The top five anglers from each qualifier will automatically qualify for the 2015 Maver British Pole Championships.
What if the qualifiers don't sell out?
If the qualifiers don't sell out, then Maver Managing Director Phil Briscoe has personally guaranteed a sum of £50,000 for the winner, still double the largest prize currently on offer. But if the qualifiers do sell out, the winner will walk away with £100,000 guaranteed!
Do I need to join a club to be able to purchase tickets?
Absolutely not. There are no loyalty clubs or favouritism with Match This. All tickets are sold on a first come first served basis.
What's the latest I can book a ticket for a qualifying event?
Tickets can be purchased up until one week before the date of the qualifying event if you are paying by cheque. If you are paying for tickets via a debit / credit card, you can pay up until the 12 noon on the Friday before the match. Tickets cannot be purchased after such time. Please also note that tickets cannot be purchased on the day. If you have not booked your ticket(s) in advance, you will not be able to fish on the day.
What date will the final be held on?
The Grand Final will be held at Maver Larford Lakes on Saturday 5th September, 2015.
It's all about drawing an end peg in the final?
End pegs have notoriously dominated finals in prestigious events such as this. However, the Mega Match This final will feature four end peg blockers, who will fish a mini match between themselves, in order to remove the all important advantage of an end peg.
Bought a ticket but can no longer fish or have previously qualified?
All tickets are fully transferable. You are free to sell on tickets to friends who wish to take part in the event.
Will the final be televised?
Maver are currently in discussions with various television networks about live coverage of the event. Watch this space for updates.
How much do Maver make from this?
The very simple answer is absolutely nothing. 100% pools entry will be paid out in the way of prizes on the day of the grand final. Maver are proud to be organising an event such as this. It is vital that we take our sport to the next level, where it deserves to be. Obviously organising an event such as this incurs many costs, with pegs fees alone amounting to almost £20,000. But rest assured, if all 24 qualifiers sell out, then the winner WILL walk away with that life changing £100,000.
You've got to be in it to win it.
There is nothing else to say other than THE VERY BEST OF LUCK.