Melton angler Simon Skelton reaches major national final for fourth time

Simon Skelton has qualified for the national Maver Match This final four times in the big money competition's seven-year history EMN-170106-085931002
Simon Skelton has qualified for the national Maver Match This final four times in the big money competition's seven-year history EMN-170106-085931002
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Melton angler Simon Skelton will look to go one better and win the biggest prize in UK match angling at the fourth attempt.

Only one other anglers can better Skelton’s record of four final appearances since the high-profile competition was launched in 2011.

And having reached the podium twice at the ultra-competitive match, including a third-place finish at last year’s record-breaking final, he is now keen to claim the big money top prize.

Skelton had been in fine form this season after recording a number of lake and section wins on previous qualifiers.

But needing a little luck of the draw, he made sure he took advantage when a promising peg came his way.

“I’ve been winning my lake on a few qualifiers now, but didn’t feel as though I’d had the draw I needed until today,” he said.

“I was confident that if I drew an area with some fish in front of me, I’d be able to do enough and get back into the final again.”

Skelton, who runs a plumbing and heating services business, was a clear winner in the 10th match of the qualifying series at the Glebe, in Leicestershire.

He weighed in with a series-best haul just shy of the 300lb-mark to beat his nearest rival by more than 60lb.

“I drew peg 23 on lake one, which I was more than happy with as I normally draw badly at The Glebe in big matches,” he added.

“I’ve won the match with 294lb, mainly mugging fish to book my place in the biggest final in the country for the fourth time.

“I’m absolutely buzzing, to say the least, to be back in the Maver Match This Final again.”

Having also scooped a £1,000 section prize as well as his two podium finishes in his three previous finals, Skelton will be among the favourites for this year’s grand final, the highlights of which will be broadcast on BT Sport.

From thousands of entrants, he will be among just 24 anglers battling it out for a top prize of at least £50,000 at Maver Hayfield Lakes, near Doncaster, on Saturday, September 2.

But once again he will need a helpful peg draw to stand a chance of winning.

He said: “It’s an awesome event and one I cannot wait to be part of again.”