Poor shoot­ing con­di­tions no prob­lem

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - SPORT -

SHOOT­ERS were a lit­tle gun shy on Satur­day be­cause the hot, glary con­di­tions com­bined with a mi­rage and lightly-il­lu­mi­nated tar­gets, made it tough for ri­fle­men in the Dou­ble 600-me­tre match.

In the first 600-me­tre match Neil Attwood opened the full­bore Tar­get Ri­fle (308 cal­i­bre, non-tele­scopic, man­u­ally­sup­ported) com­pe­ti­tion with a string of 4-point “in­ners” just out­side the cen­tre cir­cle, but then found three 5-point bulls-eyes be­fore again slip­ping out­side the cen­tre to close with a re­spectable score of 42 points (out of 50, this 10-shot match) with no cen­tre-bulls.

Vet­eran Ron Schild fol­lowed, shoot­ing very com­pet­i­tively with a new bar­rel in place and opened strongly with two 5-point cen­tre-bulls and two 5-point bulls-eyes (the cen­tre­bulls be­ing used to sep­a­rate ties on a count-back) be­fore los­ing his way to­wards the end with a way­ward 2-point “outer” and a string of three 3-point “birds” to fin­ish.

A dis­ap­point­ing score of 39 with 2 cen­tres re­flected both the dif­fi­culty of find­ing the cen­tre with the glare of the back­ground sky be­hind the tar­gets and the vari­abil­ity of the strong mi­rage swap­ping from left-to-right and right-to-left across the tar­gets with­out warn­ing.

Young vis­i­tor Liam Stan­bor­ough from the NSW Cen­tral Coast (with his fa­ther Carl man­ning the tar­gets) was next down, and opened in im­pres­sive fash­ion with a 4-point “in­ner” fol­lowed by a 5-point cen­tre-bull on his sight­ing shots, but then the dif­fi­culty of the con­di­tions and the weight of the ri­fle in a bor­rowed shoot­ing jacket and sling took its toll.

And he shot an up-and-down round, which in­cluded an­other bulls-eye to fin­ish with a very re­spectable, given the cir­cum­stances, 29/1.

Mal McKel­lar was last down and was in the cen­tre of the tar­get from the out­set, open­ing with a string of six straight cen­tre-bulls, but then he too suf­fered from the glare, drop­ping in three 4-point­ers to­wards the fin­ish, to close with a match-win­ning but, for him, dis­ap­point­ing 47 points with 6 cen­tres.

In the sec­ond 600 me­tre match, Attwood again opened for full-bore, and pulled a string of in­ter­min­gled 3 and 4-point­ers be­fore set­tling to close with two 5-point bulls-eyes in his last three shots, and a score of 43 points (out of 55, this 11-shot match) but still no cen­tre-bulls.

Stan­bor­ough fol­lowed, again strug­gling with the con­di­tions and the bor­rowed set-up, but shot cred­itably un­der the cir­cum­stances to post a 15/0.

McKel­lar was next down, but an early way­ward 3-point “bird” was a ma­jor set-back and though he found the cen­tre on five oc­ca­sions there­after a string of four 4-point­ers at the end saw him col­lapse un­der the con­di­tions with just 48 points with 2 cen­tres, leav­ing the door wide open for Schild.

Ron Schild saw the op­por­tu­nity and his ex­pe­ri­ence came to the fore, open­ing with two 5-point bulls-eyes; the three 4-point­ers that fol­lowed, how­ever, saw the op­por­tu­nity start to slip away; he re­gained his com­po­sure, pulled his hat brim down low over his face to ward off the ter­ri­ble glare from the smoky sky, and dropped just one point in his fi­nal six pulls to take a com­mand­ing match-win with 51 points and 1 cen­tre.

In summary, un­der chal­leng­ing con­di­tions, the full-bore Tar­get Ri­fle Dou­ble 600-me­tre match was taken by Mal McKel­lar with 95 points (out of 105) and 8 cen­tre-bulls over Ron Schild 2nd on 90/3, and Neil Attwood 3rd with 85/0.

The Club meets ev­ery Satur­day at 1pm at the Moss­man and District Ri­fle Club Range mid-way be­tween Port and Moss­man; vis­i­tors are al­ways wel­come. Please note, how­ever, the Range will be closed this Satur­day as shoot­ers will be at­tend­ing the An­nual Prize Shoots at Raven­shoe (on Satur­day) and Her­ber­ton (on Sun­day).

The club will be back in ac­tion at Moss­man on Oc­to­ber 15.

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