Bradford district stars Matt Wells and Andy Hodge had to settle for silver in their respective events as Great Britain finished the World Rowing Championships on top of the medal table today.

Wells teamed up with Marcus Bateman in the men’s double sculls on New Zealand’s Lake Karapiro and looked set to win a first gold as they entered the final stretch with a half-length lead over New Zealand pair Nathan Cohen and Joseph Sullivan.

But the home crew found an extra gear when it mattered most to surge past their rivals, and Wells admitted the noisy crowd had played their part.

He said: “We thought we had it all the way down for 75/80 per-cent of that race. Unfortunately, when we were coming in and going through our big gears, the Kiwis just had a little bit more than us and maybe that’s down to their home crowd.

“Although you do block it out of your head when you’re racing in it, I think today they got to us.”

That made it 11 medals for Britain, more than any other country and easily their best World Champion-ship tally, with nine coming in Olympic classes and two in Paralympic.

On Saturday, Hodge and Peter Reed came within inches of beating New Zealand rivals Hamish Bond and Eric Murray for the first time in 13 meetings in the men’s pairs.

The home duo had looked a class above in the semi-finals but it was a different story in the final as Hodge, from Hebden near Skipton, and Reed stayed out in front all the way until the final 200 metres, when the New Zealanders found another gear to edge ahead and win by three tenths of a second.

Hodge said: “That was a top race today. It was one of the best races we’ve put together this year.

“We really brought it onto the water today but all credit to the New Zealanders, they had a stroke more than us, which I’m gutted about.

“Immediately after the race I was really happy but the more I think about it the more I’m quite annoyed, but that’s what rowing’s all about.”

Katherine Grainger and Anna Watkins secured a fifth gold in the women’s double sculls.

It was fitting that it was Grainger, Britain’s most successful female oarswoman, who should win the crucial gold as she made it five world titles in a distinguished career.