Clay Shooting

Leah Southall

Leah Southall keeps go­ing de­spite a rough patch and dif­fi­cult con­di­tions, to fin­ish the month in style

- Austria · England · Belgium · F.C. Internazionale Milano · Nottingham · Belarus · West Midlands · West Midlands · Notts County F.C.

Iwas at By­well Shoot­ing Ground on the three days of 19-21 July to shoot the Bri­tish Open DTL and the Euro­pean DTL Cham­pi­onships. It felt weird shoot­ing it this year, be­cause last year I was wear­ing my Eng­land vest to shoot both com­pe­ti­tions. The Bri­tish Open went great for me, as I shot a 98/284, but I was disappoint­ed with the num­ber of sec­ond bar­rels that I had. Un­for­tu­nately, I didn’t place any­where with my score, but I still had a great time com­pet­ing.

On the first day of the Eu­ro­peans, I shot a 97/285, de­spite heavy rain on my last two lines. In my first 50 I only dropped 5 points, but in my last 50 I dropped 10 points due to not be­ing able to see prop­erly be­cause my glasses were cov­ered in rain. That score put me in a good po­si­tion mov­ing into day two – but on the sec­ond day I was shoot­ing at the very bottom of the ground where it seemed to be much windier. That played havoc with the clays, as some were flat, some were high and some dipped in the wind. An­other fac­tor I had to take into con­sid­er­a­tion was the con­stantly changing light con­di­tions which made the clays dif­fi­cult to see at times.

I had to bat­tle through and shoot the best I could in the con­di­tions. I was pleased with my com­bined score of 189/548 for the week­end, but I would have liked to have done bet­ter, con­sid­er­ing how well I shot on day one.

The next week I shot the West Mid­lands DTL Inter-coun­ties at Fauxdegla Shoot­ing Ground. The weather was mis­er­able to say the least. There was rain all day and high winds in the af­ter­noon when I was shoot­ing. In fact, it was so bit­terly cold it felt like I was shoot­ing in win­ter. I was disappoint­ed with my re­sult, but at least Stafford­shire ladies won team bronze, which both me and Becky Wilkin­son were proud of.

On 4 Au­gust, I was back at Ran­ton CTC, this time to com­pete in the Stafford­shire DTL County Cham­pi­onships. De­spite not shoot­ing my best, I re­tained my ti­tle of both Lady and Ju­nior County Cham­pion – I have been lady cham­pion for four years run­ning, and ju­nior cham­pion for three years.

I should men­tion that I have been go­ing through a rough patch re­cently with my shoot­ing. I'm sure read­ers can re­late to that, as many shoot­ers ex­pe­ri­ence the same thing at some point. I am work­ing ex­tremely hard to try and over­come the wall that I have hit, and I’m so grate­ful to those of you who have been so un­der­stand­ing and have sup­ported me when I have been upset – it means the world to me.

On a more pos­i­tive note, I had a suc­cess­ful trip to Not­ting­ham and District Gun Club on 10 and 11 Au­gust for the English and Bri­tish Open Sin­gle Bar­rel. The Satur­day was ex­tremely windy, with the wind speed reach­ing 50mph at times. I man­aged to shoot a 25-straight, my first at Not­ting­ham, and my over­all score was 90 ex-100, plac­ing me sec­ond in B Class, sec­ond in Ju­niors and first in Ladies – mak­ing me the English Open Sin­gle Bar­rel Ladies Cham­pion for 2019!

On the Sun­day, I shot an 86 ex-100, fin­ish­ing on an­other 25-straight af­ter changing my lenses be­cause I couldn’t see the clays clearly on my pre­vi­ous lines. I placed third in Ju­niors and fourth in Ladies by only two clays! Congratula­tions to all of the win­ners over the two days.

I am now look­ing for­ward to the DTL Grand Masters at Fauxdegla, and an­other trip up to By­well for the Clay Shoot­ing DTL Clas­sic. I'll tell you how that goes in next month's col­umn.

 ??  ?? Con­di­tions were chal­leng­ing at By­well for the Bri­tish Open and Euro­pean DTL Cham­pi­onships
Con­di­tions were chal­leng­ing at By­well for the Bri­tish Open and Euro­pean DTL Cham­pi­onships
 ??  ?? Leah and Becky Wilkin­son took team bronze for Stafford­shire ladies
Leah and Becky Wilkin­son took team bronze for Stafford­shire ladies
 ??  ?? Leah was thrilled to be­come English Open Sin­gle Bar­rel Ladies cham­pion
Leah was thrilled to be­come English Open Sin­gle Bar­rel Ladies cham­pion
 ??  ?? Leah Southall is a DTL shooter who has made re­mark­able progress since tak­ing up shoot­ing in 2016, re­cently achiev­ing an Eng­land cap.
Leah Southall is a DTL shooter who has made re­mark­able progress since tak­ing up shoot­ing in 2016, re­cently achiev­ing an Eng­land cap.

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