Ri­fle clubs’ pen­nant pre­sen­ta­tion din­ner a great suc­cess

Mansfield Courier - - Sport - By ROB CHAFFE

LAST Fri­day marked the pen­nant pre­sen­ta­tion cel­e­bra­tions for the mem­bers of both the Goul­burn Val­ley and the East Cen­tral Dis­trict Ri­fle As­so­ci­a­tions held in the Royal Mail Ho­tel, Mooroopna.

There was quite a bit to cel­e­brate, first the GVDRA win­ning the 10 per­son tar­get ri­fle state team ti­tle af­ter a very close fin­ish where the Ovens and Mur­ray DRA were lead­ing by 11 points as the shoot­ers moved back to the 900 yard range at Bendigo.

A range that is no­to­ri­ously dif­fi­cult with the wind di­rec­tion chang­ing in frac­tions of a sec­ond.

Barry Wood and David Black, vet­er­ans of big matches both in Aus­tralia and at Bis­ley in Eng­land, as the team coaches said that the con­di­tions were some of the most dif­fi­cult to read that they had ever struck.

They were on the ball be­cause the GVDRA came out with the ti­tle of State Cham­pion team for 2019 by 14 points.

The evening was not with­out recog­ni­tion for our lo­cal ECDRA shoot­ers with Graeme Kerr awarded top shot for the McAuliffe Shield pen­nant se­ries in F Class A Grade, Rosco Davis top shot in F Class B Grade and Terry Gee top shot in F Class open.

This is a re­flec­tion of the char­ac­ter of the ECDRA team with a group of very ex­pe­ri­enced shoot­ers who can shoot well with an emerg­ing group of younger shoot­ers who are learn­ing very fast.

”One of the ben­e­fits of team shoot­ing with ex­pe­ri­enced coaches is that new shoot­ers can be­come very pro­fi­cient in two sea­sons while if they try it alone it takes at least five sea­sons,” Graeme Kerr said.

Pres­i­dent of the GVDRA Joe Mel­bourne proudly held the Cen­te­nary Cup high to ac­knowl­edge the GVDRA’s win at the an­nual dis­trict team match against the Ovens and Mur­ray DRA.

The pen­nant win­ners for the Parker Cup went to Katan­dra and the McAuliffe Shield to Kar­ramo­mus.

The evening was a very en­joy­able ex­pe­ri­ence topped off by a short ad­dress by David Black on his ex­pe­ri­ence shoot­ing for Aus­tralia in the ‘Palma’.

The Palma was held in Welling­ton New Zealand and for the third time since 1887 Aus­tralia won.

David said that windy Welling­ton is aptly named and dur­ing one of the prac­tice shoots over the 800 and 900 yard dis­tances the Palma is held, he was glad to see a hit on the tar­get and to get even one point.

It took three hard years of prac­tice to get the Aus­tralian team ready for the com­pe­ti­tion in­volv­ing 15 shot shoots over 800 and 900 yards on two con­sec­u­tive days.

On the first day the con­di­tions were so quiet that the flags did not move, the Aus­tralian cap­tain gave the or­der to go for it, and the re­sult was not one point was dropped with more than 12 cen­tres recorded for the whole team.

He said this must be some sort of record but for the team it was the boost of con­fi­dence that took them through the very rough con­di­tions that fol­lowed.

The last pre­sen­ta­tion was for the Avenel Shield, a team com­pe­ti­tion in­volv­ing both the short and long range pen­nant team shoots where the win­ning team is de­cided on points al­lo­cated to each shooter us­ing the Mixed Cat­e­gory Score In­dex to ad­just scores to al­low di­rect off-ri­fle com­par­i­son be­tween the var­i­ous classes of shoot­ing.

Af­ter the Short Range Pen­nant se­ries the re­sult was wide open and then in the Long Range ECDRA had one day when it failed to field a full team and that al­lowed Nagam­bie to get the edge and even­tu­ally win the Avenel Shield for 2019.

In pre­sent­ing the Avenel Shield, Robert Chaffe pres­i­dent of the ECDRA ac­knowl­edged the very strong per­for­mance of Nagam­bie’s team through­out the year.

He also no­ticed Graeme Kerr’s unerring at­ten­tion to score keep­ing and the Te­han fam­ily who do­nated the shield for team com­pet­i­tive tar­get ri­fle shoot­ing in the 1950s.

CEL­E­BRA­TIONS: Pres­i­dent of the Goul­burn Val­ley Dis­trict Ri­fle As­so­ci­a­tion Joe Mel­bourne con­grat­u­lat­ing Brenda Pur­den on 30 con­tin­u­ous years of or­gan­i­sa­tion of the GVDRA pre­sen­ta­tion din­ner. The happy faces re­flect the very spe­cial evening this has be­come for tar­get shoot­ers in the Goul­burn Val­ley.

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