It was on a cold Autumn day that members of LEVAS met on the banks of the Carp Lake at Rycroft for 2017 Championship Match 18, and also for the Shipstone Cup. A joint match with Soldiers and Sailors (Sawley) AC ensured a high attendance with most pegs on the lake being occupied.

As well as having one of the most comfortable pegs on the day (peg 26 with the wind off his back), Les Smedley was able to enjoy a very pleasant day's sport. Fishing method feeder and switching through a variety of baits, Les caught one of the earliest fish in the match and then continued to take the odd carp throughout to put 46-10 on the scales to win the match, the Trophy and move back into the Championship top three.

In contrast Match Secretary Dave Kent (peg 15) had a much slower match, taking three carp on bomb and pellet throughout the first four and a half hours then adding around another 25-00 to his weight with two carp taken on luncheon meat from the margins in the last half hour. His 43-00 total gave him second place.

On the opposite bank (peg 2), in spite of a nightmare of losing 8 carp (hook pulls), Paul Skinner fished an excellent match.  He landed three late margin caught carp on worm over maggot, which added to his catch of perch from the margin and skimmer bream taken on long pole and maggot, he managed 42-00 for third place.

Nigel Brailsford's 40-04 from peg 14 for fourth place ensured he maintained his Championship lead, while in joint fifth and close behind were Mick Lager (peg 24) and Steve Hoult (peg 7), both with 38-12.

The top six in the race for the Championship, with only two matches remaining, are: Nigel Brailsford 238 points; Paul Marriott 231; Les Smedley 217; John Adamson 216; Steve Hoult 215, Rob Pembridge 204.  All of these except Steve Hoult will drop points over the remaining two matches, making him a very strong contender for the 2017 title.