The big day in Christchurch's Field Target shooters' diaries finally arrived. The final round was here, and not one place in the league was certain. The second best attended event in the league, nearly 60 shooters turned up from 9 clubs to battle it out. The weather was uncharacteristically chaotic, clear blue skies providing light intermittent showers, a strong westerly breeze providing random gusts and gales from the east, the south, and seemingly up and down...never from the west. In between dull moments of predictable wind, the hill's 10 strong squirrel display team entertained the shooters on the first 3 lanes...seemingly trying to get the larger white steel squirrel targets to join in.
At the start of the day Bisley had a strong lead in the team placings with Ottmoor a firm second, but third place had just one point separating CGC and the Buccaneers from Southampton. It was going to be close, but the CGC team put in an exceptional performance, once again beating all but Bisley to take second place on the day and confirming third place in the overall team event, an outstanding achievement for the club's first entry into the league.
For many CGC shooters this was their first competition against other clubs and we left quite an impression. Strong individual performances saw Dave Cooling take overall 4th Place in C Grade, Sarah England 2nd Place in C overall, Rob Farnworth 2nd in B, and Rich Chasemore a well deserved 1st place in B overall. All of the aforementioned qualified in the top 32 in the region and for the Showdown on the Isle of Wight, the individual knockout event. The two B graders also made the 15 strong regional team. Our youngest shooter, Craig Lord, aged barely in double figures, put in an excellent score and left several adult shooters from the series in his wake. We look forward to his scores when he tries FT for the second time!
The final place in contest was the Gary Wells trophy, awarded for the most amount of targets hit over the series. There were 5 AA grade shooters within 2 targets of each other at the start of the shoot, and it ran right up to the last lane, which Steve Clark had to clear to take it. Now standing shots are never easy at the best of times, but when you need two of them to win the entire series...well...but they both fell, and Steve took both the Gary Well's and 1st Place in the coveted AA Grade for the season. All the scores and more are on the series website www.csfta.co.uk
Beyond the success of the shooters, the club was highly commended for hosting the event, and that is without doubt down to the efforts of all the members, some of which tirelessly gave up their time without shooting to help.
We look forward to doing it all again next year...but in the meantime, keep your eyes open for a an update from the IOW shoot and a car full of silverware making its way back.