Matthew Burns

Sedbergh Target Shoot Team take on Ellesmere & Shrewsbury

Match report from Mr Sam Sharma, Shooting Master
Ellesmere 1485 | Sedbergh 1472 | Shrewsbury 1404

On Wednesday, the Shooting Team travelled to Shrewsbury for the annual triangular match against Ellesmere and Shrewsbury, held on a rotating basis at each of our three ranges.

12 shooters travelled, with several new caps entering the 2nds and some regular 2nd VIII hands stepping up to 1st team representation to fill the gaps left by Y13 Protected Time. Although the match is a friendly one in every sense – and indeed a major pleasure of the day was catching up with friends, colleagues and rivals in the other schools, many of whom had toured internationally with our shooters – the format put the pressure on.

A standard slow-time ten-spot target was followed by a speed-run in which shooters had only two minutes to fire ten shots – something a little out of the ordinary which required all comers to adapt and indeed to hone the vital shooting skills of rhythm, decisiveness and focus.

Ellesmere were always going to be a huge challenge – on home ground last year and with our full squad, we defeated them by a single point. As perhaps expected, they proved too strong and too consistent for our depleted 1st VIII. However, we were pleased to record a good win over Shrewsbury, and to see excellent scores throughout the squad.

Most firers exceeded their practice averages, with particularly impressive performances from Daisy (R), top score from the three teams on 191/200; from Rowan (CH) who submitted the top rapid card of the day with 96/100, and from several of our newer shots – George (P) competing in his first 1st VIII smallbore match and controlling his nerves to shoot a highly respectable 182, and three other shooters from Year 9 shooting their way into the top team. The 2nd IV scores were a similar story – again, Ellesmere proved unassailable but the 2nds proved their skills by dispatching Shrewsbury, all the more impressive considering that two of their number – Nicole (CH) (top score for the 2nds) and Eleanor (R) – were on their first full representative cap for the school and had only started shooting in September.

All in all, a good day out – lessons learned, and skills sharpened all around, with much valuable match practice for a relatively inexperienced squad that will surely pay off in the more serious tests to come.

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