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College & OF History: 1975-2000
Into the Third Millennium
Framlingham College...
By John Maulden

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OF Rifle Club Win Third Consecutive Treble
Steve McDowell, shooting correspondent, is in fine song once again:
To the tune of “Ooops I did it again”:

BOOM!... We did it again.
We played for the prize, and shot out all the bulls.
Oh Nigel, Nigel
Oops... We hit one or two,
with a vee here and there, we conquered all the fools
But we’re not that gifted mate.
Boom! We did it again!

With apologies to Britney Spears, there’s so much to tell in so little space. Following another win in the All-Day Lizard Goblet and Club Championship last weekend (and that’s more of a mouthful than even Britney can manage), the OFRC is now unbeaten since 2005.

Except, that is, in the BIG ONE. The true test of how good we are will come on July 17th when we compete in the Public School Vets. Last year the A Team dropped only three points and came fifth, only beaten by the likes of ‘serious’ shooting schools Greshams and Epsom, which have between them supplied most of the international teams for a decade and more.

In the mean time, we can sit back and be satisfied and reflect on a third successive season of triple silverware winning. Certainly Beloved Chairman Burnip was so chuffed he even put down his ice cream for long enough to award himself the Lizard Goblet.

Ever sporting, the Old Lawrentians gracefully accepted their ninth successive defeat, despite putting together a creditable score only 20 or so points behind us.

This year, for the first time, we experimented with a three-fold format. For the first time making it an all weekend affair, the College were invited to bring a team down and, with three of them entered in the Imperial Meeting, we were keen to encourage them as much as we could.

Having all just shot at long range for the first time in what we hope is a long and satisfying shooting career, Kimberley Pope, Carl Witham and Jace Palmer (in that order above) were all given £100 from SOF RC funds as a 50 per cent Bursary towards the cost of their Imperial Meeting entry fee.

Also we were delighted to be joined by Maddie Bryant from last year’s output, Maddie is also shooting the Meeting which this year promises to bring a larger number of OFs together than ever before.

Not only will we be able to field 3 teams in the Veterans, but the College 8 might also mount a solid challenge to the top schools, giving us the chance of a high position in the Aggregate competition, which is the Veterans’ and the College VIII’s scores combined.

Though we may be flippant, there is little luck involved in the success of the OFRC in recent years. After many years in the doldrums these successes have been achieved almost entirely by the hard work and encouragement of all the members to spread the word, but in particular Hon Sec James “Non-smoker” Mehta, Nigel “Gaffer” Burnip and ‘VivaElPresidenteGeneralissimoHisExcellency’ Brian Smith.

The Club Championship, due to some lacklustre marketing from the members, failed to attract enough “Open” candidates to bring real force to the weekend – not to mention cash – but nonetheless proved popular. Notable performances were from – as usual - Sandy “The Bore” Walker, dropping 8 points all weekend from a possible of 305; the ever-improving Jonathan “Kit” Cupper found enough time off from wielding his credit card in Fulton’s to shoot himself into the A-team for the second time in a row; and Steve “Large One” McDowell found enough time off from the bragging about his 35/1 triumph in the Derby on the Saturday to make his place in the team worthwhile on the Sunday. Following the usual 300 horrors, he managed a reasonable attack on the rest of the day including a career best 49.4 at 1000 yards.

Other than Maddie, it was good to see both Geoff “We have a problem” Houston as well as John “Eagle has Landed” Houston.

The Club Championship was won by Sandy Walker and the medal for best shot of the day was awarded to Steve McDowell at his own insistence.

We all look forward with the anticipation of a five year old for Christmas the Imperial Meeting, which kicks off with the Veteran’s match on 17th July. All-comers welcome.

Below (Left to Right):
James Houston (not an OF, son of) Geoff Houston, John Halahan, Nigel King, James Mehta, Sandy Walker, Nigel Burnip, John Horton, Jonathan Cupper (not an OF), VivaElPresidente Brian Smith , Maddie Bryant.