SOF Rifle Club – Bisley Long Range match report

In glorious 30 degree sunshine the same teams gathered on Bisley’s sprawling Stickledown range for the annual Long Range match. The mood was brighter than the glare from the Hon Sec’s exposed knees and brighter still than the sky blue OFRC shirts worn by many team members – though this may have been due more to the promise of a £5 discount on the match fee than any sense of team spirit.

A tricky ‘five minuter’ fishtail wind gusting fresh to moderate down range threatened to lay waste to the scorecards of even the deadest eye as the team settled on the 900 yard firing point.

As usual the captain, Nigel ‘Slimfast’ Burnip, led from the front slotting a solid 47 with three V bulls giving 47.3. The fearsomely gifted John ‘Embassy’ Halahan followed with 47.1 in spite of a surgical appliance on his right wrist to correct an injury he limply described as tennis elbow.

Not to be outdone, and despite his first two sighting shots scoring nothing more than sky, Steve ‘Five Sighter’ McDowell, eventually scored 47.4.

Strong scoring indeed, augmented as the Horton family stormed in with scores of 45.1 (John – senior) and 44 from Q match medal-winner Andrew (junior).

Mike ‘Bungalow Bill’ Coker looked disappointed with his 43.1 while Nigel ‘Cyclops’ King deployed the finest in Teutonic optical technology to score a creditable 42.1 declaring ‘I can see the hairs on a fly’s backside, but where the target is remains a matter of considerable speculation.’

Meanwhile, Hon Sec James Mehta-Made made the words ‘wind coach’ sound like swearing as coach Halahan added more minutes to the hapless marksman’s sights in a futile bid to keep his shots in a similar postcode.

Neil ‘Bodie and Doyle’ Joy arrived just in time to brighten the B team’s score card with a highly positive 45.1 while McDowell’s faffing about had left poor Brian ‘El Presidente’ Smith with only two minutes for his 12 rounds.

But, the distance between the 900x and 1000x firing points is a great deal more than just 100 yards and the fickle wind had turned pernicious, leaving flags jigging about like a school production of Riverdance.

The ever-dependable skipper sent ripples of worry through the team as even he scored 43 with not a V bull to his name but it proved to be the top score.

Wind coach Mehta exacted a hideous revenge upon Halahan by guiding him to two successive outers at opposite ends of the target.

‘Cor, it’s pretty tricky this wind,’ chuckles Mehta, which comes as scant consolation to Halahan who clocks 39.1 and retires, citing his mysterious wrist injury. McDowell rides his luck with a jammy V bull on the first sighter, and coverts both for 42.2.

But the wind deteriorates further and while father and son Horton duo score 43 and 42 respectively, only Neil Joy breaks 40.

An excellent day was had by all, even Nigel King who laboured under the impression that the targets were greyish shapeless blobs on strings. In the final analysis Fram have done well coming third, only a point behind auld enemy Lawrentians and 10 behind winners Lancing, whose wind coach is reputedly a witch doctor.

Ever organised, the Hon Sec congratulates Steve McDowell on winning the day’s medal, then discovers he left it at home.

The next meeting is an all-day shoot Saturday 7th June beginning at 9am. If you would like to attend, please contact the Hon Sec, James Mehta, on 01206 768004 or at honsec@creffieldlodge.co.uk as soon as possible.

Full Score Card

Nigel Burnip 47.3 43 90.3
John Halahan 47.1 39.1 86.2
Steve McDowell 47.4 42.2 89.6
John Horton 45.1 43 88.1
Andrew Horton 44 42 86
Team Total 439.12
Mike Coker 43.1 38.2 81.3
James Mehta 40.1 39.2 81.3
Nigel King 42.1 39.2 81.3
Neil Joy 45.3 40.3 85.6
Brian Smith Not Finished 38 38
Team Total 366.15
Lancing 449.21
Old Lawrentians 440.26
Old Framlinghamians 439.12
Cranleigh 425.25
KGS Wimbledon 410.19
Old Alleynians 362.13 ( 4man team)


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