The 2016 English Eight Club, National Rifle Club of Scotland and Welsh Rifle Association Spring Match Rifle meeting was held at Bisley on 7th and 8th May.
Open to Match Rifle, Target Rifle and F TR shots, the organisers were delighted to see a record entry this year with 74 competitors shooting all or part of the meeting. It was also great to see some new faces of shooters who are taking up Match Rifle, from university students to experienced TR shooters and Muzzle Loaders.
With unseasonably warm temperatures, those who had just returned from the GB Match Rifle Team tour to Tasmania would have been forgiven for getting confused over whether they were still on tour. However, freshly reunited with their kit they joined everyone on the 1,000 yard point to kick off the meeting. The competition started with some excellent scores, notably by George Barnard and John Lindsay who each scored 75.12 out of a possible 75 with 15 V-bulls.
1,100 yards saw some more challenging conditions and Scotland's Mike Barlow took the lead in the aggregate with the only possible on the range. This left the Saturday competition very open, with Angus McLeod and Rob Lygoe hot on Mike's heels. 1,200 yards as ever proved a game changer for many, and knocked all the previous leaders out of the top 3. Only ten shooters managed to break 70, and many magpies graces the targets with their unwanted presence. Angus McLeod finished out in front with a very respectable 219.25 for the day, closely followed by David Dashwood (218.19) and Nick Tremlett (217.24).
After shooting, a cheese and wine reception was enjoyed by all in the English VIII clubhouse, followed by many shooters and partners enjoying a carvery dinner at the North London Rifle Club. All was set for another beautiful day on Stickledown...
Sunday saw even hotter weather, with glorious blue skies and fishtailing wind keeping us all busy. At 1,000 yards, Angus McLeod only dropped two V-bulls, pipping Mike Spencer's 75.12. John Lindsay and David Dashwood both managed a 75 to be the only two not to drop any points at 1,000 yards all weekend. Angus's performance enabled him to stay out in front, and despite some fighting back from Nick Tremlett (219.20) and Rob Lygoe (220.22) Angus was too good, with his 219.30 giving him the overall weekend aggregate by 2 clear points.
Other notable performances were from Kate Fitton whose 422.35 won the Ladies Trophy, Fergus Flanagan's 75.14 on Sunday's 1,100 yds which helped his 429.38 for a convincing win in the Under 25 cup, and Tim Kidner who somehow managed a 75.7 at 1,200 yards on Sunday despite wind brackets of 3R to 4L being common and very unreadable to us mere mortals!
With representatives from all the home nations in the top ten, all eyes turn towards this summer's Hopton and the annual Elcho match where Scotland, Ireland and Wales will be hoping to take victory from reigning champions England.
Thanks to all those involved in the meeting, including the butt markers and range officers for a very enjoyable weekend. If you've been tempted by reading this, we are always welcoming new MR shots whether re-discovering the joy of long range shooting or trying for the first time so do get involved! Full results and information for the Autumn meeting can be found below and in the Dates section (accessed via the menu above)