Having had a nightmare of a match on the Saturday before, the kit had been sorted, rigs tied, bait lovingly prepared and I was ready!
The morning of the match came and it was a beautiful day, a little foggy to start but the skys cleared and the sun shone.
By 8.30 a large que had formed even outside the doors whilst the Welsh contingent were still munching on our bacon sandwiches.
I joined the que and having a chat with former winner Clive Wright about our mutual love of Holgan farm passed the time away.
The night before I'd said a few prayers asking for a peg on Ghost, but alas my draw had let me down and I was heading to Arles....peg 37 to be precise.
It seemed a decent enough peg though and I know it had a bit of form in the winter time, Ade also said that on the day it was a fair pick so I wasnt too distraught.
At about 10am we had heard the shocking news that one of our fellow competitiors had suffered a heart attack whist setting up and in moments there was two ambulances speeding through the fishery. The match was sensibly delayed to a 11.30 start as several anglers assisted the ill angler and to give time so the medical team could do thier work.
The match began at 11.30 in a some what somber mood with everyones thoughts with our fellow angler.
I opted for the usual Woodlands approach of 2+2, a long pole line, edge line and a shallow rig as there was a fair few fish cruising about on this very warm day. I had also set up a pellet waggler and lead as had a sunken island a few stumps to cast to.
It seemed apparant from the first hour that Arles wasn't going to be the lake to offer a qualifier as the fishing was slow and sluggish with the fish quite small by Woodlands standards.
Our hopes of qualifying were fading fast as the day wore on, although fishing is put into perspective when a fellow angler is taken away in an ambulance.
I had a few on the pole lines and a few on the lead but all around us it was a bit of a struggle. There was some reports of good weights on front deans and on ghost and the match ended as it had started....pretty slow!
The fish o mania aspirations for this year are over, but was made up for my mate Jon Harvey who won the match with a superb 168lb off Ghost peg 5 and will now be in the fish o mania final.
Well done Jon and you wouldn't bet against him becoming the first Welshman to win the Fish o mania title.
The best news though was yet to come as we learnt that the Angler who fell ill at the start, and suffered a heart attack had lived to fish another day. Dennis the chap in question had been saved by the quick thinking of fellow anglers who performed cpr on him until the paramedics turned up.
He is now recovering in hospital and I know that all the anglers who were there were delighted to hear that news. Undoubtedly the best news of the day, and get well soon Dennis.
1st John Harvey (Ghost peg 5) - 168lb
2nd Prezmek Solsky (F'Deans peg 1) - 113lb
3rd Dan Squire (B'Deans peg 64) - 111lb 7oz
4th Mathew Jackson (Hay peg 20) - 104lb 4oz
Two of the pics below (the draw page and the one of Jon were taken from Andy Fords Twitter feed #tweetomania @SkyTightLines