2014 Match This Champion, Chris Cameron (Middy) is presented with a cheque for £60,000 by Maver MD, Philip Briscoe.
Saturday 30th August witnessed the fourth and latest chapter in the Maver Mega Match This success story. A gruelling twenty-four qualifier campaign produced a truly exciting and unpredictable prospest with club anglers pegged amongst some of the country's finest, each one having earnt their place in angling's ultimate showdown and the sport's richest final.
As per Maver Mega Match This tradition, anglers were treated to a no-expense-spared Gala evening event the night before the Grand Final hosted within the confines of luxury four star accommodation. It was during the Gala evening event Mega Match This once again entered the record books with Maver (UK) MD, Philip Briscoe, confirming the overall 2014 Grand Final purse had increased to a massive £72,000, including an incredible £60,000 first place prize for the winner - an increase of £10,000 on 2013's final. Plus for the first time ever in a Mega Match This Final, section prizes of £1,000 for every six anglers were confirmed - a simply staggering amount of prize money spread well across the competing anglers met with raptuous applause. The scene was set for a fantastic final.
Shortly after the announcement had been made, anglers were called up to draw their pegs. There were grimaces for some, smiles for others, but with conditions forecast to change very little over the following twenty four hours, it was the early numbers that looked likely of producing a match-winning weight. Ben Fisk and Gary Bell drew pegs 1 and 2 respectively with three times Match This finalist, Jamie Hughes (Maver), drawing peg 10 towards the opposite end of the grass bank alongside former Match This finalist, Lee Kerry (Preston Innovations). Garbolino-backed England International, Darren Cox, drew midway down the burr bank alongside one of the favourties to win, Perry Stone with Mike McMillan having drawn end peg 24 opposite the cafe.
Conditions for the 2014 Mega Match This final were not as pleasant for spectators as in previous years
Finalists were greeted by grey overcast skies early on Saturday morning with a cool breeze blowing from right to left down towards the cafe-end of the Match lake. Having drawn for their pegs the night before, competitors were down on the water by 08:30am carefully considering their options ahead of what would undoubtedly be the most important five hours of their angling career. All the weeks of planning and preparation boiled down to this very moment.
The pre-match nerves and tension were shattered at 12 noon with the unmistakable sound of the air horn. Most anglers opted to start short for the opening ten minutes of the match to see if there were any larger fish patrolling the 5m line before switching to long pole, method or bomb tactics with 6mm and 8mm pellet being the hook bait of choice. It was a slow start for some, but Matrix rod Lee Wright was quick off the mark making an early impression from peg 6 on the grass bank.
Matrix rod Lee Wright was in to fish early on and made a great start
The resident carp and F1's were proving difficult for some showing a reluctance to feed close in with many resorting to fishing pole and pellet at length for a large percentage of the match. Chris Cameron (Middy / Old Ghost) started his match, like most, fishing short before switching to pole and banded 8mm pellet long at 13m to catch odd carp and F1's. However, Chris' long pole line did not show any sign of producing as expected, so began to feed 8mm pellet at approximately twenty five (25) yards before changing to bomb and pellet tactics to take more F1's and better carp up to 6lbs. Midway through the match, Chris found himself needing to change tact again in order to keep fish coming to the net so switched to the method feeder over his bomb and pellet line whilst priming another line at 16m with 6mm pellets. Chris continued to catch on both bomb and pellet and the method before switching to his margins late on. However, Larford's renowned edge fish proved elusive for Chris with just two carp up to 8lbs gracing the net during the final throws of the match making for a nail biting finish for the Gloucetser-based engineer.
Yorkshire Bait rod, Perry Stone, produced a great effort from peg 17 on the Match burr bank. Like many, Perry also started his match fishing short at 6m for the opening ten minutes but soon switched to the method feeder with groundbait to catch carp and F1's. As the match progressed, Perry experimented with a pellet / goundbait combination in order to maintain a steady catch rate before switching to margins late on with dead maggot over grounbait to take carp averaging 8lbs with bigger specimens up to 13-14lbs. Perry enjoyed a strong finish to the match and could have arguably bettered Chris' weight but for a few lost fish towards the end of the session including one estimated at 14lbs plus.
Andrew Fulleylove (Kobra Feeders) was the youngest competitor in the 2014 final at twenty five (25) years of age. However, despite lacking the experience of other competitors, Andy fished an excellent match from neighbouring peg 16. Fishing the method feeder with a 50:50 mix of groundbait and pellet for most of the match offering both meat and pellet on the hook, Andy found carp and F1's before bites started to tail off. A quick look on his short pole line produced nothing at all forcing a switch to his edge line where Andy found three carp to paste fished over groundbait, maggot and corn late on.
At the end of the five hours, it was too close to call. Anglers that had endured a slow start to proceedings had enjoyed a strong finish, including Perry Stone, whereas anglers that had started the match well, found themselves struggling to get the fish to settle in the margins during the final two hours.
Fishery staff had a difficult job with weights between anglers challenging for the title being extremely close on the burr
Upon the scales making their way around the Match lake, it was Chris Hall (The Oaks) who went in to an early lead weighing in 28.360kg from an area of the lake that had not produced as expected. Chris was then immediately knocked back by Matrix rod, Lee Wright, weighing in 29.160kg for the section win, picking up £1,000. It was then Chris Cameron who topped the field weighing in 43.220 kilos followed by Jamie Hughes offering 26.720kg to the scales for the second of four section winners, again picking up £1,000.
By the time the scales has reached the burr bank, there were two possible areas from which Chris Cameron's weight could have been toppled. Andrew Fulleylove's confirmed weight was reported back to the stage at 32.380kg meaning the final remaining challenge on Chris Cameron's effort was Perry Stone. Perry, who by his own admission, had lost a few big fish late on was weighed in at 37.360kg confirming Chris as 2014 Maver Mega Match This Champion.
Further along the burr bank, Maver rod Simon Skelton picked up a section win from peg 15 with 18.900kg followed by Drennan's Chris Vandervleit picking up the final section win with 28.280 kilos from a difficult area.
Chris with part of his winning 43.220kg catch, earning him the richest prize in UK match angling history
Chris Cameron receives his winners cheque for £60,000 and the iconic Mega Match This trophy
|Angler's Name||Weight (kilos)||Peg # / Lake|
|Chris Cameron (Middy / Old Ghost)||43.220||8 (Grass bank)||Perry Stone (Yorkshire Bait)||37.360||17 (Burr bank)|
|Andrew Fulleylove (Kobra Feeders)||32.370||16 (Burr bank)||Lee Wright (Matrix)||29.160||6 (Grass bank)||Section A winner||Chris Hall (The Oaks)||28.360||5 (Grass bank)||Chris Vandervleit (Drennan)||28.280||20 (Burr bank)||Section D winner|
|Jamie Hughes (Maver / Bag 'Em Baits)||26.720||10 (Grass bank)||Section B winner|
|Gavin Butler (Maver Image)||22.620||11 (Grass bank)||Tony Dawson (Bait-Tech)||19.320||19 (Burr bank)|
|Paul Yates (Drennan)||18.980||4 (Grass bank)||Simon Skelton (Maver)||18.900||15 (Burr bank)||Section C winner||Jon Arthur (Drennan)||18.020||14 (Burr bank)||James Wilson (Alan's Tackle)||16.660||21 (Burr bank)|
|Lee Kerry (Preston Innovations)||16.140||9 (Grass bank)|
|Darren Cox (Garbolino)||15.280||18 (Burr bank)||Gary Bell (Lakeland Fishery)||15.040||2 (Grass bank)|
|Andrew Lakey (Park Gate Angling)||12.860||12 (Grass bank)||Ben Fisk (Middy)||10.640||1 (Grass bank)||Simon Allen (Maver Gold Bag 'Em)||9.860||23 (Burr bank)||Andy Oldham (Frenzee)||9.100||7 (Grass bank)|
|Michael McMillan (Preston Delcac)||8.280||24 (Burr bank)|
|Neil Stones (Barnsley Bait)||7.320||3 (Grass bank)||Simon Kiefer (Drennan Bordon)||6.460||22 (Burr bank)|
|Brett Cooper (Shakespeare Hansford)||6.130||13 (Burr bank)|
Watch the exclusive interview with Chris Cameron moments after being confirmed 2014 Mega Match This Champion with Angling Times match reporter, Richard Grange.
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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 or 2012 campaign, you can login to purchase a 2013 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 30th August 2014. There will also be a team championship event taking place on Sunday 31st August 2014 that will see teams of four compete for a large cash prize and impressive team trophy.
Unlucky enough to finish second in a qualifier?
The top five anglers from each qualifier will automatically qualify for the 2014 Maver British Pole Championships. Please note, the £5,000 runner's up final will NOT feature as part of the 2014 campaign.
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 30th August, 2014. The Team Championship event will take place on Sunday 31st August 2014.
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.