TOP Worcester canal squad Swan AC scored a notable victory when they turned the tables on the crack Halesowen British Legion club to win the semi-final round of the big BAA club knockout competition.

By transferring the event from a swollen river Severn at Stourport to the Staffs-Worcs canal at Stewponey, the West Midland outfit thought they would have the upper hand but Swan team members Colin Davis, captain Rod Guise, Andy Collins, Jim Collins, Craig Bennett and Mick Samson pulled off an excellent result when they not only beat their rivals 12-4-2 to 10-14-15 but also took the top two individual prizes.

First overall was local canal record holder Davis whose winning weight of 5-1-7 was made up of a few good roach and perch from the centre channel taken early on worm bait followed by a number of quality roach coming to caster and punch from the far bank.

Young Andy Collins took the runner-up spot thanks to a mostly worm caught roach bag of 3-0-0, Collins being unfortunate to loose a good skimmer bream due to a boat passing through his peg at the crucial netting stage.

Top individual for the Halesowen team was third placed Gary Mason whose unusual approach of breadpunch in the deeper water produced a run of small roach going 2-15-12. Mason's club mate John Billingham used similar tactics to take a mixed bag of small fish for a fourth placed 2-11-14.

The final is to be held on the Severn at Stourport on Sunday, March 13 when a three-way tie between Swan, 100 AC and Good Intent will take place.

Twelve inches of extra dirty water greeted the 56 competitors on the first round of the Eckington pairs series and catches were understandably affected.

Seasoned Avon regular Dave Wright (DGL) still managed a creditable top weight when he took 14-2-0, consisting of two big bream and a few eels, from peg five above the 'stump' peg by using a groundbait feeder with worm hook bait.

Second place went to club mate Steve Ford who, from his peg below 'covert corner,' netted one seven pound bream along with eels and roach which tipped the scales at 11-6-0.

Cheltenham's Ken Wilson came third with 6-3-0 from the first peg in the boat meadow.

Fourth placed Mal Watson (DGL) netted all roach on lob worm to weigh 4-15-0 beating Eckington's John Curtis whose weight of 4-8-0 was good enough for fifth position.

The pairs league after the first encounter puts Wright and Jason Buick in front with six points followed by Watson and Stuart Pulsar on seven and Mark Brush and Steve Ford third with eight.

The next round is on January 25.

Portobello AC's pool at Rushwick produced some excellent catches for members taking part in the third winter series contest. Club veteran Billy Hill was the eventual winner when he netted five carp and a few small fish from peg eight which together went 18-5-0. Southern exile Ron Eagle came second also with five carp, but of a smaller stamp, Eagle's fish weighing in at 14-3-0.

Third placed man Lol Jameson only netted one carp but the fish, along with a few silvers tipped the scales 6-1-0 to beat John Ludlow's mixed net of 4-11-0.

The league after three rounds could not be tighter with Hill in the lead on 31 points, Ludlow in second place on 30 and Eagle third with 29.

Moorlands Farm. Saturday Open -- 1 S. Pulsar 49-0-0, 2 M. Watson 43-6-0, 3 L. Thomson 35-10-0.

Sunday Open: 1 J. Cockayne 76-13-0, 2 C. Pace 27-5-0, 3 C Seabourne 20-4-0.

Prospects: The recent mild weather could see this weekend's final round of the WDUAA winter league series produce some of the best catches of the winter. No doubt caster will be the top bait but a rise in water temperature could see the maggot come into its own.

River anglers prepared to brave the floods should find barbel willing to feed, luncheon meat being the best offering.