Any hopes of Drennan Team England winning the FIPs 62nd World Championships were dealt a savage blow on day one.
A bad draw saw them rack up 33 penalty points and ninth place overall, 21 points adrift of leaders Italy.
Picturesque as the River Sava may be, it is a hopeless snag pit in some areas with anglers losing upwards of 30 hook links in rocks and tree stumps on the river bed.
Following a week of intensive practise by the 37 competing nations many of these snags had become festooned with snapped-off pole rigs making it extremely difficult to land bonus fish like barbel and carp.
England’s shining light on Day One was Doncaster-based Alan Scotthorne. Winner of five previous individual gold medals Alan won his section with almost a kilo to spare and therefore putting himself in with a chance of making it a record six titles.
A better draw on Day Two saw England storm back into contention although it would have required a miracle to claw back Italy’s 21 point lead from the previous day. England won Day Two with just 13.5 points but Day One’s disaster was insurmountable. To win the team bronze from where they began the final day was still a remarkable achievement but it was tough on Alan Scotthorne.
Alan returned the perfect score winning his section on both days but he was denied individual gold because Russia’s Yuri Sipsov and Hungary’s Walter Tamás both scored higher cumulative weights pushing him down to third place.
England’s Will Raison finished fourth with four penalty points.
* Overall teams: 1. Italy 37 Points; 2. Hungary 40.5; 3 England 46.5.