Sussex shooters right on target in national championships

The Sussex ladies' 50m team
The Sussex ladies' 50m team

Sussex was strongly represented at the National Smallbore Rifle Championships.

Shooting took place during a week of tricky weather with strong and variable winds and periods of heavy rain.

The week starts with individual competitions and club competitions building to inter-county competitions and the British championships.

One of the first inter-county competitions is the final of the Queen Alexandra Cup. Sussex have a good record in this competition which is the only one shot at Bisley at 25m and consists of 20 shots deliberate, 20 shots time limit and a skirmisher, as many shots as possible at a very small target in 60 seconds.

The Sussex team finished fifth with a score of 2300 behind winners Surrey who scored 2332 and Essex on 2311. Fittleworth’s Rob Dowling top-scored for Sussex with a score of 397, followed by David White of East Grinstead with 392.

The County Sextette competition is for teams of six each shooting 20 shots at 50m and 20 shots at 100yds. Eastbourne’s Linda Smallbone top-scored for Sussex.

The final county team shoot was the 50m competition where teams of six each shoot 60 shots at 50m. Sussex performed well finishing fourth with a score of 3474 out of 3600 behind winners Hampshire on 3491, and Surrey and Kent.

Leading shot for Sussex was Sara Carr of Fittleworth with 586 out of 600. She also top scored for the Sussex Ladies’ 50m team and backed by Linda Smallbone of Eastbourne and Sara Marshall of Hastings, her efforts meant the Sussex Ladies won the inter-county ladies’ 50m competition with a score of 1740 out of 1800, beating local rivals Surrey and Kent into second and third respectively.

On the last day of the meeting clubs represented their counties in the Astor competition. Sussex were represented by Fittleworth, who had beaten close rivals East Grinstead in the county stage of the competition.

In the final, Fittleworth’s Sara Carr top-scored with 383 out of 400 followed by Rob Dowling with 382; however despite a very consistent team score, Sussex finished fourth behind Cheshire & North Wales, Middlesex and Bedfordshire.

Overall, Sussex had a very successful meeting and were unfortunate to win just one inter-county cup.