Armagh Angling Club hosted the 2nd leg of the Friendship Cup competition between Armagh Angling Club and Banbridge Angling Club at Seaghan Dam on Saturday 29 September 2018. The conditions on the day were bright and blustery and in addition the water levels at Seaghan Dam were quite low, which all resulted in the fishing being challenging. Armagh Angling Club, as always, give the Banbridge Team a warm welcome along with the usual competitive craic and banter as the anglers tackled up in preparation for the competition.
The Banbridge Team carried a lead of 9lbs 6ozs into the 2nd leg but both teams knew that with the size of the fish in Seaghan that this was no more than a couple of good fish. The competition started at 10am with everyone going to different parts of the Dam to try and find the best place for casting due to the blustery winds. Adrian McAnarney was the first man in the Banbridge Team to be into a fish on his second cast and it was a keeper. Both teams were seen to be catching fish on a regular basis. Roger McClements, Banbridge was having great sport catching numbers of fish but unfortunately all of them were Brown Trout which didn’t count in this competition. However he made up for this in the afternoon session. At the lunch break the competition was very close between the teams. The weather conditions continued to be challenging into the afternoon session.
Frank Kearney, Banbridge, who had a lovely fish in the morning session, bagged up shortly after lunch. Peter Smyth, Armagh also had a couple of lovely fish in the morning and he also bagged up in the afternoon session. David McCreedy, Banbridge and Paul Houlahan, Armagh also had nice fish to the net. Dessie Graham, Banbridge was soon into a fish during the afternoon session and was seen netting a couple with Roger McClements finally managing to connect with three nice Rainbows. Milne Jones, Banbridge had a nice fish in the bag and got absolutely smashed on a cracking fish. Adrian McAnarney caught a cracking fish giving him a lovely brace of fish. David McCreedy soon had another fish on the bank also giving him a lovely brace of fish. During the afternoon session the other anglers observed a large commotion close to where Dessie Graham was fishing (perhaps he’s fallen in given the splash of water that was seen). However this was not the case and Dessie had connected with a cracking fish that fought him like a trojan. Dessie’s net was too small to net it and he summoned fellow team member Sam Grant for assistance. Sam knows all about landing big fish at Seaghan as he caught a great fish here during the 2017 competition. When Dessie’s fish hit the scales it weighed 7lbs 13ozs. It was a beautiful bar of silver with a tail like a shovel.
Adrian McAnarney, Banbridge and Adian Donnelly, Armagh were the joint competition adjucators. When both teams bags were totalled up over the two legs, the Banbridge Team retained the Friendship Cup 2018 having caught a total weight of 68lbs 10ozs over the two legs compared to the Armagh Team’s total weight of 49lbs 11ozs. Dessie Graham won the Banbridge Teams heaviest fish with that great Rainbow of 7lb 13ozs. The winner of the Armagh Teams heaviest fish went to Brendan McGuinness with a very good fish of 3lb. Frank Kearney won the Banbridge Teams heaviest bag with a weight of 3lbs 14ozs. Peter Smyth took the Armagh Teams heaviest bag with a weight of 2lbs 14ozs. Adrian McAnarney, Banbridge Team captain 2018 thanks all the Banbridge anglers that fished in both legs of this year’s competition. He also thanked Coburns Tackle Shop, Banbridge who sponsored prizes. He especially thanked Armagh Angling Club for participating in such a great competition and for the hospitality and friendship that they show to Banbridge year after year.