Air rifle league underway as Sporting Lions start defence of their title
THE Sporting Lions began the defence of their title in the Hinckley Air Rifle League with a comfortable victory over their guests from Bedworth Ex Servicemen’s Club.
Upon winning the toss Bedworth elected to shoot first but they failed to take full advantage of this as they struggled to a 186 total that included 27s from Robert Wagstaff and Jackie Bend, James Bend’s 28, and Bill Bend’s 29.
This was easily beaten by the Lions who consistently outscored their opponents. They started strongly with 29s from Glen Dainter and Todd Astill, after which there were 28s from Karl Bunting and Taryn Cockerill, Melanie Jenkins’ 27, and 26s from Lee Johnson and Jeanette Mulkeirins, all of which took them to 193 and a seven shot victory.
Taylor & Ayre welcomed Hinckley Phoenix to The Barn in Barwell, where the hosts won the toss and shot first.
Top scores came from Aly Steele and Giles Headley who each shot a 28; Jim Gibney and the league’s 2017/18 best under-16 shooter, Glenn Foxon, both scored 27s; and John Orton completed T&A’s first half scoring with a 26.
Barry Wright got the Phoenix reply off to a decent start with his 27, whilst a returning Fred Knowles hit 25, after which Karen and Craig Bown closed the half with a 27 and 26 respectively. After the supper break Paul Griffin and Phil Steele’s scores of 27 and 26 completed the home effort, whilst the visitors’ Barry Robinson and Geoff Herbert also scored 26s, with their anchor man Ian Ratheram going one better with his 27. Hence T&A won the match 189-184.
The closest match of the night occurred at the Greyhound Inn where the Trojans played host to the Hounds. Put in by their hosts, the Hounds started slowly but gradually improved as the match progressed with Brian Allen’s 26 preceding Lee Foskett’s 27, Richard Allen’s 28 and Paul Huddlestone’s 30.
The resulting 185 total seemed reasonably competitive but wasn’t quite enough as the Trojans reached 189 thanks to the 26s of Nigel Jackson, Darren Houghton and Rob Forman; Dave Brown’s 28; and the 29s of Phil Hood and Leigh Hall.
The only other match of the night, between Ashby Road and their Smallshaws guests, resulted in the biggest winning margin.
Neither team’s first half shot particularly well, each producing a solitary 26, from Richard White for Ashby Road and Chris Slimm for Smallshaws, but this changed for both teams in the second half.
The home team’s improvement was particularly marked as Neil Smith’s opening 27 was followed by Lorraine White’s 26, Seamus Moore’s 28, and the 29s of David White and Pete Finney.
Smallshaws also improved after the break with Tom Williams’ opening 27 being followed by Craig West’s 26 and Bob West’s 29 but this wasn’t good enough to bring them close to their opponents, the final score being 190180 in Ashby Road’s favour.