McAuliffe Shield round 4

ECDRA VS Shepparton Nathalia Gold Round Four

The East Central District Rifle Association met the Shepparton Nathalia Gold team at the Violet town range to contest the fourth round of the McAuliffe Shield last Saturday over 500 and 600 yards. Saturday was the winters day we all have been waiting for, no fog, bright clear sunlight and a gentle breeze what a great day for a target shooting match.

Well all was not as it seemed.  After the first few shots were fired it was clear that the gusting breeze was “cold and heavy” pushing the projectiles in every direction.  That Violet Town wind!  It was only ECDRA’s Roger King who came through with the top score of 60.3 on the first stage at 500 yards that kept the hope of four wins in a row for our local ECDRA team.  The wind coaches were scratching their heads and there was an improvement at the next 500 yard stage with ECDRA’s David Wallace shooting 60.3 and M Tinkler and Jason li from Shepparton Nathalia Gold shooting 60.4 and 60.6 respectively.  As the teams moved back to the final stage at the 600 yard range it was clear the match would be decided on this range and the pressure was on.  Jason Li continued his good form from 500 and shot a 60.4 ( top scoring for the day with 177.11 out of 180 points) and ECDRA’s Marty Kelly shot 60.3 to get things going.

McAuliffe Sheild Round 4

It was the ECDRA team’s consistency that finally got them through as winners with 896 out of 900 to Shepparton Nathalia Gold 876.  The ECDRA scores (adjusted for handicap) were Matt Frazer (top score) with 180 out of 180  followed by Roger King 180, David Wallace 180, Vaughan Murphy 179, Des Coulter 177, Marty Kelly 175, Graeme Kerr 174, Geoff James 169, Neal Hambridge 169 and Richard Godden (who only shot one range) 50.1.  Over a hot cuppa at afternoon tea much was said about the impact of the wind that came from behind and the great difficulty in working out the sight adjustment  needed to keep the shot in the middle of the target.  The warm cuppa and a good trip home did not dampen the enthusiasm as emails continued to be exchanged well into Sunday afternoon.  Now that the marksmen can get accurate plots of their shots electronically and also see other shot plots of fellow shooters the conversations are based on the objective record that places the shot with millimetre precision on the target.  No room now for extravagant claims.  Neal Hambridge was the sad story for the day, his perfectly executed shot (a 6) landed on the wrong target - with the instant loss of six points, these six points would have put the match in no doubt at all as the team would have shot 899 out of 900.  That a Flagon of Spirits that Neal has to shout the club according to tradition.