NSRA Performance Clubs are those with an ethos of competition and athlete development. Achieving recognition as a Performance Club is testament to the hard work by the club committee and members in developing the facilities to allow quality training activities – particularly the new club room, training building and availability of electronic targets at 10m and 50m. It also recognises the effort by the club’s volunteer instructors and coaches, not only in developing athletes, but also providing support and continued development for instructors and coaches.
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 enjoyed international success, with three members representing Home Nation teams at the Bisley 100 Meeting.
On Friday, Club Chairman Martyn Buttery captained England – an historic double after he also captained the team at Scotland 100 in 2019.
Rich Hemingway and Ryan Williams were both selected to represent Wales. They were joined by friend-of-the-club Liam Webster who earned his first Welsh cap. Liam shot at Rugeley for many years before moving to west Wales some years ago.
England ultimately won the match, scoring 3799/4000.
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).
Rugeley shooter Megan Bamsey became the 2022 British Junior Women’s Air Rifle Champion this weekend. Competing at the NSRA British Open Airgun Championship, Megan placed fifth in qualifying before working her way to the top during the final.
Megan follows in the footsteps of older brother Mike who has represented GB at the World Championships and Wales at two Commonwealth Games.
Rich Hemingway placed second in A-Class on Saturday at the NSRA National Long Range Rifle Championships. Qualifying via the North-West Regional Championship, Rich fended off finalists from five other regional heats at Sywell Ranges in Northamptonshire.
The Long Range Rifle Championship is a new competition for 2021. The NSRA introduced the contest to fill the gap left by the cancellation of the National Meeting, typically held every August at Bisley.
Meant as a stopgap, the Championships have been well supported, with praise for regional events. The NSRA have often been accused of a Bisley focus with all NSRA events and matches (other than the Scottish Meeting) taking place in Surrey. Making the Association more regionally relevant is a very welcome step and the NSRA have plans to expand the series in 2022 alongside the Centenary Bisley Meeting, first held on the Camp in 1922.
Rugeley A (P Voitiukevicius; K Voitiukevicius & J Craft) placed 4th in Division 1.
Rugeley B (M Buttery; R Hawkins & Ms J Smith) placed 2nd in Division 4, close behind Kilgetty .177 TSC.
Rugeley C (S Evans; D Glover & R Lloyd) placed 5th in Division 6.
Rugeley D (J Bradbury; P Evans & B Wiggett) tied in first place in Division 7 behind Burnham TSC with 18 points each, but were ranking second on aggregate (4,779 vs. 4,765).
The club’s Air Pistol section has come a long way in the past three years. In 2018 only two teams could be fielded, though the A-Team won Division 8. With four teams, our top athletes are now competing in the top domestic divisions.