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00  Month

Shooters back on target

Created on 02/10/2017 @ 13:25
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A Thursday night at the Royal Oak Hotel in Welshpool during the last week of September can mean only one thing – the beginning of another season of shooting for members of the Montgomeryshire and District Airgun League.

As is traditional, shooters from each of the 10 league teams gathered to shoot in the high-pressure conditions of the President’s Shield, a departure from the usual Bell Target matches.

Shooters shot all seven of their scored shots in one unbroken string rather than alternating with their opponent from another team, and the commonplace Bell Targets were replaced with paper, each printed with seven scoring targets. 

The change of circumstance certainly required a cool head from the shooters and the guiding hand of organiser Alan Baker, who martialled both shooters and onlookers with aplomb, ensuring that each line-up of 10 shooters arrived as soon as the previous squad had departed the oche.

Each target card was collected and then scrutinised by a team of markers (Alan Baker, Jane Thomas, Jess Corbett, Adam Hillditch and Gary Powell) before the scores were confirmed. As each score was confirmed it was added to the scoreboard, which was in turn feverishly scrutinised by the teams, each anxious to determine their place in the rankings, which varied quickly throughout the evening.

Standards of marksmanship were, as always, very high, with examples of pre-season rustiness noticeable by their absence. With a maximum score of 70 points, 35 of the 65 shooters scored 63 points or more, with 10 of these scoring 67 points or more, and two taking the joint highest score of a superb 68.

The upper division saw the lead swing back and forth between Churchstoke and Guilsfield A, with the honours finally going to Guilsfield A who scored a magnificent 392 out of a possible 420. There is feeling within the league that this is a team on the up, and certainly contenders for this year’s league title.

Meanwhile the lower division saw a surging Crew Green B team winning at a canter with 385 points, 15 clear of second-placed Guilsfield B.  Crew Green B are again a team to beware of, this success following their giant-killing antics of last season.

Individual shooters who stood out were: Ian Brown (Crew Green B) and Richard Morgan (Castle Caereinion) who shared the evening’s top score of 68 points.  Showie Brown and Marina Corbett shared the highest ladies score of 67 points, with Showie’s score securing her the highest score by a junior (under 21) shooter of the evening.

As always, the President’s Shield proved to be a fantastic way to start the season, showcasing the pool of talent available to the Montgomeryshire and District Airgun League. The league also welcomed new many shooters into the ranks, some of whom showed a high level of potential.

With such a promising and dynamic start, we can only assume that this season will be one to watch.  

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