ECDRA Runners UP at 2017 Victorian State Titles

2017 Victorian State Titles

East Central District Rifle Association's 5 shooter team took second place in the State F class Standard competition held on the Victoria Rifle Association Range at Wellsford Bendigo on Sunday. Only coming in second place by 2 points in over 800 scored.

The Results were 1st. Western District 819.25,ECDRA 817 .34, Wimmera 810.25, Goulburn Valley 800.24, Ovens and Murray 795.28, Inner West 765.17 and South West 718.15. ECDRA’s Graeme Kerr got the team off to the best possible start at 600 yards with a possible 60.5 (one of only two possibles shot all day).

The high centre or X count (34) for the ECDRA shows just how good the coaches led by Geoff James were at keeping the shooters in the dead centre of the target and it was only the very difficult conditions at 900 yards at the end of the match that cost our team the victory.

DRA Team

Above Graeme Kerr was first up at 900 and as the “test" shooter helped the coach get things sorted but the cost was Graeme’s 49 well out of his normal range and, as he said "I could have found those two points in my shoot alone."

Despite being the second best five shooter team in F Standard 2017 the shooters all said it had been great fun and they would be back again next year - this time to win! The ECDRA individual scores were Marty Kelly 169.8, David Wallace 166.8, Graeme Kerr 165.6, Vaughan Murphy 162.9 and Geoff James 155.3.

ECDRA also entered for the first time a F Class Open five shooter team competition.  Regretfully this “young” team did not have the services of the ECDRA regular coaches and under the very difficult wind conditions the team struggled to keep their shots in the dead centre. The F class open five shooter team results were first Gippsland 864.44, Bendigo 862.46, Western District 846.93, Goulburn Valley 832.29, Inner West 815.26and ECDRA 794.27.

The individual ECDRA team members scores were: Des Coulter 168.3, Paul Watkins 160.7, Norm Lienhan 157.8, Matt Frazer 157.4 and Chai Somlong 152.5. Entering two teams in the State titles required a big effort by all involved especially for the F Open team as its limited coaching experience meant that everyone had to do jobs that they had limited experience with yet both teams came up trumps. The ECDRA "over eighties" featured in both teams along with members who had only a few months experience, over all a great team effort by all. Congratulations. Last year the F class standard team was placed 5th so there is no doubt that the top spot will be theirs next year, all being well.

Saturday was the day of the individual F class Standard and Open competition for the champion of champions for Victoria. Matt Frazer shot in the F Open event and Marty Kelly in the F Standard event.

Marty said that the conditions on Saturday worse than Sunday with the cold wind cutting to the bone and the shooters were glad of a cuppa after the event concluded at 900 yards. Marty had a horror 700 yards and Matt followed with a similar shoot at 900 yards. It was good to see Marty and Matt contesting state titles because last year they were both shooting F standard and Marty narrowly won the right to represent the ECDRA at the State titles.

The results in F Standard put E Warrender in first place with 168.12 points, D. Stanford in second place with 162.5 points and in third place Marty Kelley 161.5  points ( just 1 point off second place!) Marty’s scores were 56.2, 48.1 and 57.2 for a total of 161.5, we can see how costly that 700 yard range shoot was given that if he had shot as well last the other two ranges he would have been state champion, perhaps next year. Matt Frazer in F Open was up against some really top shooters in this highly competitive class and he shot 56.3, 58.4 and 47.1 for a total of 161.8.

Again a tail of lost opportunities with the disastrous 47.1 at 900. Even so Matt said it was great learning experience and he now knows just how the wind can be read at Bendigo, the only way to learn is to have a go. It looks as if Matt is shaping up to give the 2018 titles a good go. However based on the scores from the team shoot on Sunday there are a number of shooters who have a similar ideas.

While the Individual F class shoots were being held on Saturday the State Target Rifle Teams event was being contested and this year the 10 shooter team from the Goulburn Valley took the title, it was great to see our area so successful at this the highest level of the sport in the State. Next Friday night the pennant teams from the Goulburn Valley including the ECDRA will gather in Mooroopna for the annual presentation dinner and our ECDRA will feature as it picks up two of the three team prizes, more news next week.