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Parkdean Wild About Harry - Harry Billing wins the 2012 Parkdean Masters.
Harry Billing defied the pundits to be crowned 2012 Parkdean Masters Champion in a thrilling match at White Acres in Cornwall. The 58-year-old retired engineer held off a challenge from some of the biggest names in British match angling to claim his second Parkdean title and a cheque for #25,000.
With defending champion Des Shipp, and former winners Steve Ringer and Lee Kerry among those tipped to win in the 24-man field, Harry kept his nerve to claim his second title with a superb net of carp, F1’s and skimmers.
“I’m deliriously happy. I can’t believe I’ve won it in a field like this. There are some of the biggest names in match fishing on the bank and I’ve managed to beat them. I’m so happy,” he said.
Harry, who won the Masters for the first time back in 2001, drew Peg 3 on Jenny’s Lake and fished a combination of feeder and pole tactics to finish with a net of 69lbs 10ounces. But the match was a tense affair, with Callum Dicks on the next peg, and defending champion Des Shipp on Peg 10, ensuring it went right down to the wire.
The weather was to play a huge role in proceedings, with heavy overnight rain causing a sharp drop in water temperature at the Cornish venue.
With the resident F1’s refusing to feed readily in the cold conditions, the match was to be one of the closest ever. Nine of the top ten anglers were within 10lbs of each other at the weigh-in.
England international Des, who became the first man in history to win the Parkdean final twice with his victory 12 months ago, drew Peg 10 on Jenny’s Lake – an area he said gave him no chance of a hat-trick of titles.
But Des would prove to be a tough man to beat in a match where low weights were recorded by almost all.
2010 Champion Lee Kerry seemed to have it in his grasp after 90 minutes. He’d caught around 35lbs of fish on method feeder tactics from Peg 18. But Lee’s fears that his fish would stop feeding came true as he dropped off the pace. Paul Holland had drawn Peg 8 on Jenny’s – the peg most of the field wanted at the start. But he soon discovered the F1’s weren’t in a feeding mood, and would weigh in just 32lbs.
On Peg 3, Harry was the man to beat as he enjoyed a superb half hour, landing five carp in a mini feeding frenzy at the mid point of the contest. But next door on Peg 4, Callum was also catching well.
With an hour to go, Des also began to catch up – and he was still playing a large carp when the final hooter blew. It was safely landed 10 minutes after the hooter.
The arrival of the scales saw Lee in an early lead with 46lbs 4oz from Peg 18. But when Des saw his catch weigh 49lbs 3oz, there was a chance of an unprecedented hat-trick of victories for the man from Bristol.
Callum, appearing in his sixth Parkdean final, overtook Des though, with a weight of exactly 50lbs. Four large White Acres carp boosted his total.
But when Harry’s fish were weighed, it was clear he was the winner, beating his closest rival by 19lbs.
“It means so much to me to win it again,” added Harry, who has appeared in eight Parkdean finals in the past 13 years. “Callum is one of the best young anglers in the country – and Des is one of the best in the world. I’ve had one of those days people dream about.”
|1st|| Harry Billing
|2nd|| Callum Dicks
|4th|| Simon Colclough
|5th|| Lee Kerry
|6th|| James Dent
|7th|| Andy Bennett
|8th|| Dean Smith
|9th|| Steve Ringer
|10th|| Kieron Rich
|11th|| Wayne Mellings
|12th|| Andy Geldart
|14th|| Andy Power
|15th|| Gary Webber
|16th|| Cameron Hughes
|18th|| Paul Burton
|19th|| Mikey Williams
|20th|| Phil Ringer