Fittleworth Rifle Club were well represented at the National Smallbore Rifle Championships at Bisley this year and the quality of their performances did the club proud.
The week’s events include individual competitions in different classes, team competitions and culminate with the final of the British Championship.
The club entered four team competitions and started the week by winning the Queen Alexandra Team competition. This is shot at 25m and in three different styles, 20 shots deliberate, 20 shots time limit and as many shots as possible in 60 seconds at a skirmisher target.
Rob Dowling’s 397 was one of the best scores in this competition and with team-mates Sara Carr (393) and Adam Cornbill (382) also doing well, the team finished comfortable winners with a score of 1172, ten points clear of second-placed Ruislip (1162).
The next team shoot for the club was shot at 100 yards for the City of London Corporation Cup. The team’s shooting was exceptionally good, leaving the other teams in their wake to give them another convincing win.
Dowling (395), Carr (392) and Nick Mullins (390) gave the team a score of 1177, 21 points ahead of second-placed Bookham (1156). Dowling’s 395 was the top individual score in the competition winning him the Leicestershire & Rutland Challenge Trophy and gold medal.
The next team shoot brought further success, this time at 50m in the Spooner Cup. Fittleworth secured the trophy by one point with the three team members shooting consistently well with Carr (390), Cornbill (390) and Dowling (389) giving a team score of 1169, narrowly beating Romford (1168).
The next team competition was based on the aggregate of team members in four days of competition. Despite a valiant effort the grand slam attempt narrowly failed with the team finishing third with a score of 8060, Bookham (8086) winning the trophy.
In the Astor County Championship, Fittleworth had already qualified for the right to represent Sussex and, with teams of six, this was to provide a challenge to the strength in depth of the club. Shot on the last day of the week it was a stern challenge but the team put on a competitive and consistent effort, with Carr (383) top scoring followed by Dowling (382), Mullins (379), Hamish Matheson (377), Pete Terry (376) and Cornbill (375) giving the team 2272. They finished a commendable fourth place behind winners Appleton (2292), Ruislip (2292) and Bedford (2284).
In the final of the British Championship, Fittleworth’s Dowling was the only Sussex competitor and, after a challenging afternoon’s shooting he ended sixth with Welshman Theo Dodds the winner. Dowling’s efforts did earn him third place in the English Championship. It a very successful week for Fittleworth Rifle Club and members. The future looks very bright.