The English and Irish Autumn Meeting took place over a warm and sunny weekend on 24-25th September with a total of 50 competitors. Conditions at the Saturday lunchtime start were calm with the merest breath of wind from the East. Scoring was high all day. The wind increased to gentle/moderate by 1,200 yards but posed little difficulty as there was only modest variation in strength and direction. Andy Gent won the day with 222.24 whilst Thibault Lury was pipped by three V’s with his borrowed Any Rifle. These two were clear of the field by 4 points. In the evening we all enjoyed a reception in the Clubhouse followed by a convivial curry supper at the North London attended by over half of the competitors.
Sunday morning started with scarcely more wind than that at 1,000 yards on the previous day. Alas, Andy Gent had been called away overnight to fly an organ transplant to a patient in need and so had to withdraw. Thibault Lury had run out of ammunition that fitted his rifle, leaving the door wide open for someone to come through the field into the lead. It was little surprise that this was Rob Lygoe, winner of both the Spring meeting and Hopton as well. He finished with 436.50 after a testing 1,200 yard detail when the wind was the trickiest encountered all weekend with gusts causing havoc even to experienced shooters, particularly in the first detail.
The trophies were presented by Nick Tremlett, President of the English Eight Club. After the Stamford Young Trophy had been presented to Rob Lygoe, and the Dram Trophy to Andy Gent in absentia, it was with surprise that the Donegall Badge, awarded to the highest scorer not to have won it before, was presented to veteran shot David Friend, whom everyone naturally assumed had won every Match Rifle trophy going. In addition, he won the Irish Cup for top score on Sunday. Ashley Abrahams, this years CURA Captain, won the under 25 prize.
Thanks were duly given to John and Michael Hissey whose squadding, statistics and displays were of the usual exemplary standard. Doug Watts and John Killian were thanked as Range Officers, Jim Stevens and his Sussex colleagues for their excellent marking and the assembled company then departed after a reminder that the Spring meeting is set for 12/13 May 2012.