Fittleworth members excel at National Championships
Fittleworth Rifle Club were well represented at the National Smallbore Rifle Championships at Bisley this year and the quality of their performances did the club proud. The week’s events include individual competitions in different classes, team competitions and culminate with the Final of the British Championship. The club entered 4 team competitions and started the week by winning the Queen Alexandra Team competition. This is a very different format to the rest of the week’s shooting being shot at 25 metres and in three different styles, 20 shots deliberate, 20 shots time limit and as many shots as possible in 60 seconds at a skirmisher target. Rob Dowling’s 397 was one of the best scores in this competition and with team mates, Sara Carr (393) and Adam Cornbill (382), the team finished comfortable winners with a score of 1172, ten points clear of second placed Ruislip (1162), with Tunbridge Wells finishing in 3rd place.
Moving on to the more traditional style of shooting the next team shoot for the club was shot at 100 yards for the City of London Corporation Cup. The team’s shooting in this competition was exceptionally good leaving the many other teams competing in their wake to give them another convincing win. Fittleworth’s Rob Dowling (395), Sara Carr (392) and Nick Mullins (390) gave the team a score of 1177, 21 points ahead of second placed Bookham (1156) with third placed Bedford (1155). Dowling’s 395 also provided the top individual score in the competition winning him the Leicestershire & Rutland Challenge Trophy and gold medal.The next team shoot brought further success, this time at 50 metres in the Spooner Cup, but other club teams were in no mood to allow Fittleworth another runaway win. However, Fittleworth were building on their success and despite the close scores, they managed to secure the trophy by one point with the three team members shooting consistently well with Sara Carr (390), Adam Cornbill (390) and Rob Dowling (389) giving a team score of 1169, narrowly beating 2nd placed Romford (1168) and 3rd placed Bookham (1166).
The next team competition was based on the aggregate of team members in four days of competition. Despite a valiant effort by the team the attempt to secure a grand slam narrowly failed with the team finishing in third place with a score of 8060 ex. 8400, ten points behind second placed Appleton with Bookham (8086) winning the trophy.
There was one last chance for another team success, the Astor County Championship. Fittleworth had already qualified for the right to represent Sussex and, with teams of six, was to provide a challenge to the strength in depth of the club. Shot on the last day of the week long competition it was to provide a stern challenge and, the team put on a competitive and very consistent effort, with Sara Carr (383) top scoring followed by Rob Dowling (382), Nick Mullins (379), Hamish Matheson (377), Pete Terry (376) and Adam Cornbill (375) giving the team 2272 ex. 2400. Their efforts saw them finish a commendable 4th place behind winners Appleton (2292), 2nd placed Ruislip (2292) and 3rd placed Bedford (2284).
Only one competition remained and that was the Final of the British Championship. Fittleworth’s Rob Dowling was the only Sussex competitor in the Final and, after a challenging afternoon’s shooting at the end of a long week in which the wet and windy weather had taken its toll on many, Dowling finished in 6th place in the British Championship, with Welshman Theo Dodds the winner. Dowling’s efforts did, however, earn him 3rd place in the English Championship. Altogether a very successful week for Fittleworth Rifle Club and its’ members. The future looks very bright!
Submitted by Peter Terry
Photo showing left to right Nick Mullins, Sara Carr and Rob Dowling with the City of London Corporation Cup.