An ANGLING village in Oswestry was overwhelmed with the number of people who participated in its virtual fishing match at the start of the month.

Weston Pools has been holding free virtual fishing matches during the COVID-19 lockdown, and had to hold two simultaneous matches earlier in May as they had more participants than pegs.

Anglers are invited to register to fish on the Weston Pools Facebook page, and venue manager Darren Humphreys then acquires weights for each competitor for each hour of the event from a random online generator.

At the end of the match, the highest weight wins.

Darren believes the online events have been a success so far, and has been happy to see anglers enjoying banter online while they are unable to fish properly.

He said: “We ended up having two virtual events running simultaneously, the venue fished well too, with weights in excess of 220lb needed to win.

“The matches have been great to be honest, giving rise to loads of banter from the anglers on social media, and providing a welcome escape from the grim times we are in at the minute.

“It has made a nice change, as we have had some really unexpected results. Anglers who usually do well at the venue have been made to look very average to be honest, Kristian Jones for example, has put in some particularly dull performances.”

Rachael Philbin, who runs Weston Pools along with husband Mike, added: “What Darren has been doing is absolutely brilliant, and it’s nice to see that he has been keeping people entertained.

“Here at Weston, we pride ourselves on our excellent fishing, but also holding a great social event, and under normal circumstances our clubhouse is thronging with anglers having a laugh and a pint after our matches.

“Sadly, the matches are on hold at the moment, but it’s nice to know we can still provide some quality entertainment for anglers.

“We look forward to welcoming anglers back here to Weston once all this is over.”

To find out more about the virtual matches, visit Weston Pools Fishery Facebook page.