This year (2021) celebrates the 10th anniversary of the opening of Mossley Mill Fishery and indeed the 25th anniversary of Three Mile Water Conservation and Angling Association who campaigned long and hard with the help of local councillors to turn the mill pond into a trout fishery.
With financial support from Biffa Award, the fly fishing-only dam was finally opened in 2011 by then Mayor Paula Bradley and has been going strong ever since. It is a shared facility between Three Mile Water Conservation & Angling Association members and members of the public, as day tickets can be easily booked with a valid rod licence online via the Council website.
Appointed Club bailiffs ensure all anglers comply with the rules which are clearly stated on the signage to the entrance of the fishery. The fishery is now operating as a catch and release only facility and no fish are taken.
With over sixty-five members currently on the Association’s books, the fishery has been a huge success and Club membership is now at full capacity. Eventually we hope to work with ANBC and others to further develop the fishery in order to increase capacity and to continue providing good value angling to both members and visitors.
A New Competition is born…
As with most clubs, competitions are part of their make-up.
In 2013, a new trophy was kindly donated to the Association by the then Mayor Victor Robinson. The competition for this trophy was aptly named the Mayor’s Cup and all money raised from then on would go towards the Mayor’s chosen charities.
With a limited number of stands, six in total, the competition has taken on many different guises to help keep it fresh, lively and light-hearted.
The Cup started life as a doubles competition and was first won by George Hall and Ian Rowan in 2013.
In 2014 the competition continued its doubles format and was won by Tommy Webster & Garry Dawson and in 2015 Ben Lowry became the youngest ever winner at 16yrs old as it switched to a single format.
Ben was up against many experienced anglers, but fought off all competition to win the Cup.
2016 saw the introduction of fishing’s version of the FA Cup with anglers given a football team name, matches played over 90 minutes and fish caught were equivalent to goals scored.
A record number of anglers (32) entered the competition as only two pegs were needed for each match. However, the matches had to be stretched out over a number of weeks/months unit there was a winner.
John Gilliland eventually triumphed but the real winners were the charities as a record £1,000 was raised.
The competition continued its FA Cup format in 2017.
Ashley Page (Ipswich Town) was the Club’s first female finalist but had no answer to David North’s (Huddersfield Town) stunning firepower as “The Terriers” ran out 6-1 winners in the final.
Last Man standing was the name of the game in 2018 and Drew Black fought off all competition to lift the coveted trophy.
Mayor Paul Michael kindly accepted the Club’s invitation to present the trophy to winner Drew Black at the Club’s AGM.
The Club raised £750 for the Mayor’s charities.
In 2019 the FA Cup was back by popular demand and with the competition growing in stature, to a packed audience, Alderman John Smyth became the first Mayor to present the trophy on the day. Eventual winner Jack McMurtry lifted the trophy in a thrilling final with a 5-3 win but who could forget the remarkable penalty shoot-out in the quarter finals when Jack came from two down to beat his own Dad.
Alas, in 2020 the competition fell victim to the coronavirus pandemic and had to be cancelled.
Mayor’s Cup 2021
This season (2021) we are happy to announce the competition is back once again with the final being held on Saturday 21st of August. The Club is delighted to announce that Mayor Councillor Billy Webb will be there to present the winner with the trophy alongside representatives from the charities who will receive monies raised
Twenty-four anglers have entered this year’s competition which will be reduced to six for the final day by process of elimination knock-out heats.
The dam will be officially closed during the competition but all Club members, Councillors, MLAs, Charity representatives, DAERA will be invited to the final and the dam will be opened to everyone who wishes to try their hand at fly fishing once the competition is over.
So, If you’re ever passing the dam and see people wearing football shirts and scarves, fishing on the grass or celebrating wildly, don’t worry, it’s only the Mayor’s Cup!
How to Donate
Anyone wishing to donate to the Mayor’s charities can do so through the Council’s website https://antrimandnewtownabbey.gov.uk/mayorscharities/