Monday, 19 October 2015

Midlands Minileague - September 2015

Tom Shields again finds himself at the top of the Midlands comparative league this month while Andy Sims jumps from fourth to second and Steve Lyon slides down to third. Both Andy and Steve surpassed the coveted 100% marker this month, aided by some nice scarcities at Boultham Mere and Marston respectively and testament to their hard work and dedication. Further down the table Andy Mackay loses ground and drops into fourth and John Hopper remains firmly rooted in fifth place with Andy certainly within touching distance of the 100% barrier. Sam Pitt Miller gains some ground in September, advancing from twelfth to ninth while Mark Gash leaps ahead of NGB's Matthew Bruce and Espen Quinto-Ashman, both of whom have been off patch for some time due to commitments elsewhere. There is still all to play for in the comparative league during October with only a few points separating the highest ranked competitors. It will be interesting to see how things develop in the weeks to come.

To the points table now and August's top three remain unchallenged with Ian Cowgill still ruling the roost, 16 points ahead of John Hopper who in his own words, had a rather disappointing month at Hoveringham. Andy Mackay remains comfortable in third place for another month adding Black Tern and Knot at Eyebrook Reservoir. Elsewhere Rhys Dandy displaces Nick Crouch to gain fourth place while further down the table a series of other small gains were made by various other participants.

When it comes to the best finds, Redstarts were definitely flavor of the month with a Black Redstart for Steve Lyon and Common's for both Andy Sims and Tom Shields at Holme Pierrepoint. Instances of "patch gold" abounded throughout September with three patch firsts to be had over the course of the month. Among these a juvenile Osprey for Matthew Dick at Darley Dale and both Redshank and Raven notched by Steven Lewis and Phil Hyde in turn. Great White Egret was an additional good find on behalf of Andy Sims, as was a Bittern for Mark Gash at Willington GP though these comprised arguably the most grandiose finds over what was, for the large part, a rather quiet month in the Midlands. Garganey for both Rhys Dandy and Dave Roberts do warrant a mention however, as does the Little Stint nabbed by Rhys Chivers at Soar Valley Pits.

- James C (Patchwork Challenge)

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