Rifle clubs’ pennant presentation dinner a great success
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.