Saturday June 8 saw the first leg of the annual Friendship Cup fished between Banbridge Angling Club and Armagh Angling Club at Lowry’s Lake Armagh.
Armagh Angling Club warmly welcomed the Banbridge team to their waters, and quite happily advised Banbridge anglers which parts of Lowry’s lake fished well. This conversation was intermixed with a little bit of competitive spice, and banter all added to the craic of the day.
Paul McKillen from the Armagh team was first to hook into a fine rainbow at just over a pound weight, then the fishing slowed very quickly.
This was to be the pattern for the day a few fish being caught through perseverance, endurance and well sunk flies.
Banbridge soon were in to fish, Martin Dynes catching and returning a small brown of 15 inches and Sam Grant catching a nice brace of rainbows.
Banbridge angler Colin Crothers soon began doing what he does best - catching fish! Colin without question was top rod of the day with the number of fish he caught. He was the only man on the day to return a three fish bag at weigh in.
Ashley McMullan for the Armagh team caught a nice rainbow and David Ross, Cathal Doyle and Glen Symonds for Armagh rallied late with rainbows.
Adrian McAnerney caught a nice brace of rainbows for the Banbridge team, and Malachy McAleenan had a lovely rainbow in the bag at this time.
At 8.50pm, it looked very close between the two teams until Malachy McAleenan hooked a beautiful full-tailed 4lb 2oz rainbow trout, which fought him like a trojan. A special word to Adrian McAnerney, should be said at this time. Adrian sacrificed his dry socks and filled his wellington boots with water to net the fish for Malachy, showing tue teamwork and sacrifice.
This fish sealed the leg for the Banbridge team.
At the weigh in Aidan Donnelly, after verification with Martin Dynes declared the result, with Banbridge Angling Club winning the first leg of the Friendship Cup by a margin of 2.264kg.
A barbeque followed with cooking by Paul McKillen and Maggie Donnelly where everyone had great craic and banter.
Indeed a great day with great friends was had, the hospitality and generosity shown by the Armagh Angling Club to the Banbridge club was second to none it was a honour and a privilege to have been part of this day.
Banbridge Angling Club is looking forward to the second leg of this competition on September 7, where Banbridge Angling Club shall reciprocate the warm hospitality shown to us by our friends from Armagh Angling Club.
Well done to both teams and all who helped on the day.
Top rod of the day was Colin Crothers of Banbridge Angling Club, while heaviest fish of the day went to Malachy McAleenan of Banbridge Angling Club.
For more information on Banbridge Angling Club see the website - www.banbridgeanglingclub.com