OF’s Beat the USA at Bisley!

A good turn out meant that two teams of four could be fielded for the Public School Veterans Match, although Ben Shanson was a surprised late addition. Consistent scoring through the field led to good results: the “A” team narrowly beating the “B” team by a single point. This performance ensured being well placed in the overall results.

Public School Veterans Match, 10th July 2003

A Team     B Team  
Burnip N 48.2   Shanson B 47.2
McDowell S 47.3   King N 46.4
Horton A 47.1   Ford J 45.3
Horton J 44.2   Joy N 45.2
Mehta J 43.2   Smith B 45.1
  229.11     228.12

This year saw an unprecedented number of OF’s entering the Imperial Meeting. Shooting were: Nigel Burnip, David Argent, John Horton, Andrew Horton, James Mehta, Steve McDowell (his first Meeting), Andrew Gemmill, and Ben Shanson. This was a “Palma Match” year, ie target rifle shooting’s equivalent of the World Cup, and so particularly fierce competition was ensured by the presence of full national teams from the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Jamaica, Kenya to name just a few. Amongst these riflemen and women were Olympic and Commonwealth medal winners, and so breath-taking talent was on display at every shoot.

The weather played it’s part: temperatures early in the week were often in the eighties and nineties (in old money), and target shooting means wearing heavy jackets often with thick sweaters underneath. Dehydration was more than a theoretical possibility. Later in the week the weather broke, and heavy rain showers with gusting winds tore into many promising scores. Highlights of the results include Mehta’s 77th placing in the Century aggregate, with the unlucky “Magpie” McDowell being narrowly “counted out” in the Conan Doyle 900 yd competition.

James Mehta slots another bull at Bisley.
“83” refers to the temperature!

With the presence of so many OF’s it seemed only natural that a barbeque should be held. Steve McDowell revealed hidden talents with his chille and lemon chicken kebabs: surely this was not something he learned at Fram? The opportunity for both young and old OF’s to get together in pursuit of their sport (admittedly oiled with liberal quantities of their favourite libations) shows the increasing value of the OF Rifle Club.

The highlight of the week was the entry of an OF team into the “Parting Shot” competition, held on Saturday 19th July. This is open to entry by any club affiliated to the National Rifle Association, or any other “recognised body” (ie just about anyone), and consists of 2 sighters with 10 to count at both 500 and 600 yards. This was the first time that we had sufficient numbers to be able to enter a team. The OFRC team came fourth, missing out on third place and bronze medals by only three “V” bulls. In the process we comfortably beat the experienced USA National Veterans Team! Congratulations to all the team, particularly wind-coaches David Argent and Nigel Burnip, and to John Halahan who turned up to shoot at the last minute.

“Parting Shot” Saturday 19th July 2003

  500 Yards 600 Yards Total  
Burnip N 50.4 48.3 98.7  
Argent D 49.4 48.4 97.8  
Mehta J 47.5 47.4 94.9  
Horton A 46.5 48.1 94.6  
Halahan J 47.5 46.4 93.9  
  239.23 237.16 476.39 4th
Manchester     484.45 1st
USA Veterans     472.31 6th

So ended a highly successful season. OF shooting is going from strength to strength, and some of the considerable experience amassed is being passed on to the present students of the school.

Our next shoot is a Guest Day at Bisley on Saturday 6th September. If you are an ex-shooter and fancy another crack at it, or perhaps you’ve never experienced shooting’s delights and want to see what all the fuss is about, then please contact the Hon Sec, James Mehta on 01206 768004 or honsec@creffieldlodge.co.uk. All equipment, tuition and coaching is supplied. We look forward to seeing you there.


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