Rugeley member Paul Watkiss placed fifth in the A-Class 10metre Air Pistol final of the NSRA-Eley Postal competition this weekend. Having shot two postal stages at the club, Paul qualified with the top 15 shooters nationally for the final at Bisley.
Rugeley member Rich Hemingway had a sterling weekend at Bisley, shooting for Wales and qualifying for the Final of the British Prone Championship (the “Earl Roberts Championship”) at the close of the NSRA’s 2023 National Meeting.
On Friday, Rich warmed up by comfortably making it through the First Stage of the Earl Roberts, placing 9th of the 50 who qualified. That afternoon he went on to shoot in the Home Countries International, competing for Wales against England and Scotland. Wales narrowly placed third, close behind Scotland. Rich had the second highest score in the Welsh team, just a point behind Sian Corish – who was awarded the “Tartan Dragon” trophy for highest Welsh scorer.
Rich Hemingway with the 2023 Welsh Home Countries Team photo credit: Eleanor Shorey theshorey.co.uk
On Saturday morning, competitors took to the range for another early start to contest the Second Stage of the Roberts, from which 40 qualified to the final. Placing 27th, Richard entered his first Roberts Final, making him the first Rugeley or Staffordshire shooter to compete in the final for some years.
Shooting a Double Dewar course – 40 shots each at 50metres and 100yards – the wind picked up significantly, as is appropriate for championship finals! In gusty conditions, many competitors struggled to keep their scores above 190, with a smattering of big flyers (including 4s and 6s!) seen along the range, especially on the 100yard portion. Keeping their cool amongst all of them though was 2022 champion Lina Jones, who retained her title with a score of 772. Rich finished his debut Final with 756, placing him 20th.
Three Staffordshire shooters claimed prizes this Sunday at the Prone Rifle Finals in the NSRA-Eley Competition. Rich Hemingway of Rugeley placed fourth in A-Class. Duncan Chilcott of Market Drayton placed 8th in D-Class whilst Alan Boyles placed 7th in E-Class.
Best of luck to Paul Watkiss, who has qualified for the Air Pistol finals in A-Class, to be held in October at Bisley.
Rugeley members made their mark at the Centenary edition of the NSRA’s Bisley Rifle Meeting, which returned after a two year hiatus. A strong contingent, the club sent 10 shooters down, competing over the weekend and full week.
Richard Hemingway finally broke his run of middling Bisley performances to earn promotion to X-Class, joining Martyn Buttery and Ryan Williams in the top tier. Finishing third in the Weekend Aggregate and equal-fourth in the Grand Aggregate, either result was sufficient for promotion. Rich also won the incidental Prince William of Wales match and placed third in the Centenary Competition.
Vic Tyne placed third in Class for Competition 10 – the 100Yard portion of the Weekend Aggregate.
The meeting was opened by Michael More-Molyneux (Lord-Lieutenant of Surrey), on behalf of the Queen, who is patron of the NSRA. Lord Lieutenants represent the monarch in their county. The week included a number of 1922-inspired competitions, including deliberate and rapid-fire matches using targets from the period.
Michael More-Molyneux DL, Lord Lieutenant of Surrey at the Bisley 100 Opening Shot Ceremony with NSRA President Geoff Doe (left) and Chief Range Officer Jon Leech (centre).