Well, in the 56 years of the club's history we have never had a winter like this one. Let's hope we don't get another for the next 56.
This was our first shoot since the end of October and went ahead despite pretty atrocious conditions underfoot. Nevertheless, by leaving all the cars on the road and by man-handling the trap onto the field we did manage to hold what turned out to be a very enjoyable shoot. We were particularly delighted to welcome two new members to the club, Mark and Tom Warburton, A big thanks to them and to everyone else who turned out on a very dubious morning. Having said that, conditions while we were shooting were pretty much perfect, just a bit of rain coming in at the end.
So, what should have been our 5th Winter Series shoot was effectively our third, there will only be four shoots in the series this year. We also decided that the winner of today's shoot would be awarded the Christmas Trophy for last year. So there was a lot to shoot for.
The two new members looked likely to cause a bit of embarassment, shooting very, very well on their debuts with us. But it was the old warhorse, Gary Crofts, who came out of the blocks like a man possessed, scoring 44/45 on his first card. That looked unbeatable on the day, but it wasn't! He only went and shot a full-house (45/45) on his second and last card. Needless to say that won the day and provided us all with a masterclass in shooting DTL. Very well done to Gary who claims 3 points for the Winter Series and the Christmas Trophy too.
Second place went to Mark Davies with a very impressive 44/45 and third spot was shared between Tom Warburton, Russell Pierpoint and Tom Devaney. Well done to all those.
We had a bit of a backlog of trophies to award at the end of the shoot. Tom Devaney ran out the very worthy winner of the Club Champion Trophy for 2017, just pipping John Tennison by the very narrowest of margins - well done to Tom and very hard luck to John. The Most Improved Shooter award goes to John Howard, but unfortunately John was not with us today so we will be presenting that at the next shoot.
Talking of which, the next shoot will be on the 31st March and that will be the finale for this year's Winter Series - hope to see you then.
Well, sad to say, the end of 2017 has been something of a wash-out.
Atrocious weather put paid to the November shoot so we were all looking forward to the Christmas Shoot on the 16th December. But the heaviest snowfall in the last 20 years in the week before, followed by a rapid thaw, meant that yet again the field was just too wet.
That shoot was reorganised for today and we all turned up looking forward to a pre-Christmas get together. Once again - despite the relatively dry week since last Saturday, the field was so wet we couldn't get vehicles on to it. But more importantly, the trap failed to materialise and so, for an unprecedented third time, the shoot was abandoned. Apologies to all who had a wasted journey,
So, we will now have to find time in next year's schedule to fit in two extra shoots - the third winter series shoot and the Christmas shoot. As things stand at the moment though, the next shoot is on the 27th January and that will be the regular fourth Winter Series shoot. Please watch this space for details regarding the re-organised shoots.
Anyway - best wishes to all our members, guests and their family for Christmas and the New Year period. Let's hope that 2018 is a bit kinder to us weatherwise.
Perfect shooting conditions and some fine shooting all round combined to provide one of our more exciting shoots today.
The second Winter Series shoot of this season was a very hard-fought contest with many shooters on top form and determined to get those all-important points.
First out of the blocks were John Tennison and Mark Davies, each scoring 44/45 on the very first card of the day. But with everybody shooting well and many 40-plus scores being recorded it was always likely that, on this day, only a full-house would be good enough.
And so it proved. On his last card of the day Tom Devaney got them all and, slightly surprisingly, that proved to be the only full-house of the day. So Mr Devaney maintains his prefect record in the series so far with two full houses and a maximum 6 points. Very well done to him.
Gary Crofts, as always, was not far behind, putting in a 44/45 on one of his later cards. So, he, John Tennison and Mark Davies shared second spot and claim a point each for the series.
All of which means that Tom Devaney has opened up a bit of "clear blue water" after only the second shoot. Still, there's a long way to go yet and there are bound to be a few twists and turns.
Click here to see the full Winter Series table so far.
Next shoot, the third one and the last before the Christmas break is on the 25th November. See you then.
The 2017-18 Winter Series got off to a flying start today.
Gary Crofts started proceedings with an exhibition-class full house on his first card of the day. But then both Mark Davies and Tom Devaney responded by putting in full house scores of their own and their second cards.
A few others were just bubbling under with good low-40's scores, most notable was John Tennison with a 43/45. But none could just manage to get that elusive last bird, and so it ended up with a shoot-off.
Unfortunately, Mark Davies had to leave before the end, so the shoot-off was just between Gary and Tom and it was Tom who ran out the worthy winner. Very well done to him and to Gary for a very respectable second spot. Third place, and the one point for the Winter Series goes to John Tennison by default, very well done to him also.
Based on today's shooting I think this could be a very open Winter Series - I certainly won't be placing any bets at this stage.
Next shoot is on 28th October. See you then.
Today's shoot was preceded by our AGM - which was held al-fresco in beautiful conditions. The minutes are on the Downloads page.
This Double-Rise event often causes even the best of our shooters a little embarrassment, but not today. Scores were generally higher than they have been - maybe it was the perfect conditions, or maybe we're just getting the hang of it.
Anyway, last year's winner, Jason Findlay came off the blocks showing real intent with a 16/20 on his first card - in many years that would be enough to win this event. But, never one to rest on his laurels, Jason raised the bar even further on his second card, shooting a magnificent 18/20. That was always likely to be good enough, and so it proved. So the Findlay household will be retaining stewardship of this trophy for another year - very well done to Jason.
John Tennison and Gary Crofts each came up with a very respectable 16/20 to claim joint second place, well done to those two - and to everybody else for a generally better performance on the doubles.
I know I say this every year - but can you really believe that the next shoot is the start of the Winter Series? Where does the time go? Look forward to seeing you then, on the 30th September.
We arrived at the field this morning to find we had visitors. Our field had been taken over by about fifty young bullocks, who provided much entertainment for us for the whole day, and seemed to enjoy watching the competition.
And a very good competition it was too! Admittedly conditions were pretty much perfect today, and the clays stood out like traffic lights against the light grey sky, but seven full-houses in one day is pretty much unprecedented at this club.
John Tennison got things started with a faultless15/45 on his first card - then he started to show off a bit by repeating that feat on his next two cards - 45 birds in a row without dropping a point! Mark Davies was determined to give him a good run for his money and he guaranteed us a shoot off by putting in a full house on his second card - and another later in the day.
Gary Crofts and last year's winner, Jason Findlay weren't going to be left out of things and they each got a full house of their own on their last cards.
And so we ended up with a 4-way shoot-off - all very exciting. Jason and Gary were eliminated in the first round of the shoot-off but Mark and John went on to duel it out in a decider. John ran out the very worthy winner of that and so will be looking after the trophy for the next year. Very well done to him on an exemplary day of shooting. Well done also to Mark for claiming second spot and to Jason for his third. In fact well done to everybody because everyone shot well today - pity there weren't more of us.
Next time it's the dreaded Double-Rise and the Rob Ankers Trophy - that's on the 26th August. See you then.
Once again we had perfect weather for a day's shooting. Overcast, but dry and slightly on the cool side, and with the field grass having been freshly cut, conditions could not have been better. Sadly, once again, we were very depleted in numbers.
Given the near-perfect conditions you might have expected a few full-houses today - but that was not to be the case. What we did have was a lot of almost-but-not-quites. The first of those was Tom Devaney on his first card, just letting one bird sneak away. Then a host of other people, John Tennison, Gary Crofts and Tom Crowther went and did exactly the same. On his last card of normal shooting Russell Pierpoint did manage to kill them all - but he did need three second barrels to do that.
So, it was all very tense with five people tied on 42/45 points. The ensuing 5-man shoot-off was a very exciting affair with some very good shooting on show. Tom Devaney came out victorious by recording that elusive full-house - the only one of the day. Russell Pierpoint was the runner up and Gary Crofts came in third. Very well done to all those three.
This means that the Phil Morgan Trophy will be spending the next year where it spent the last one, on Tom Devaney's mantelpiece. But at least it's had a nice day out.
Next up is the Albert Nixon Trophy on the 29th July - let's make it one to remember.
We were down on numbers a bit today, but the weather was perfect for shooting and those who came had another enjoyable day and put in some very impressive scores. The way everybody came out of the blocks it looked very much like a full-house was going to be needed to lift the trophy.
Russell Pierpoint came closest to achieving that with a brilliant 74/75 on his second card. That would have been good enough to claim the cup, but unfortunately Russell had to leave early and so the rule book came into play.
John Tennison, who has been shooting like a man possessed ever since reverting to his "old faithful" Miroku, put in a seriously impressive 73/75 to claim the trophy, for the second shoot running.
Mark Davies was only one point behind and so was awarded the runner's up prize and Tom Devaney came in third with 71/75. Great shooting by those three.
Next up is the Phil Morgan Trophy on the 24th June - half way through the year already!
In picture perfect conditions we were shooting for the Rob Law Trophy today. Unlike most of our shoots this is a single-barrel event and rather than the re-entry format, competiton is over the full 50 (2 x 25) birds - so every one counts!
John Tennison was first out of the blocks with 23/25 on his first card, which nobody else could match. Gary Crofts came closest with a very respectable 22/25. So, all John had to do was maintain his standard on the second card and he did that magnificently with a repeat 23/25 - some shooting.
But that was not the end of the excitement. With John having dropped 4 birds in total, all Gary had to do on his second card was to shoot a full-house for the win. And you know what, he very nearly did it! On the very last card of the day and shooting like a machine, he killed every one of his first 17 birds and never looked like missing. But then out of the blue he dropped one. But he immediately got back into his rythym and killed the next 6. Hopes of a shoot-off disappeared, however, when he missed one of his very last birds.
So, the honours and the trophy go to a very deserving Mr Tennison. Gary can be very pleased with his well fought second place which provided great entertainment for the rest of us. Third place was claimed by Tom Devaney with a very accomplished 43/50.
We were delighted and honoured to welcome Rob's family to the field for the presentation of the trophy and we thank Anne, Amy and Charlotte for taking the time out to do that. It was the perfect end to a fittingly perfect shoot.
Next up is the Ken Dodd Trophy, and that is on the 27th May - see you then.
Today was the first shoot since the passing away of our dear friend and club stalwart, Rob Law. For the members who have been privileged to know Rob for so many years this was always going to be a difficult and emotional day, and so it proved. We started the shoot with a minute's silence and a 21-gun salute, in tribute to the great man.
The weather did it's best to lift the mood, with the most glorious spring sunshine for the whole of the shoot and with the field looking an absolute picture.
The business of the day was to settle this years Winter Series - with Jason Findlay in an almost-but-not-quite unassailable position. Jason shot slightly below his normally very high standard today, but luckily for him so did Gary Crofts, the only other contender. In the end, neither added to their points tally and so Jason is the very worthy winner of the whole series. Very well done to Jason and to Gary for making a fight of it. (Click here for final league table).
The day itself belonged to John Tennison and Tom Devaney, with each scoring a very impressive 44/45. Joint third place was shared between Mark Davies and Tom Crowther, with 41 points apiece.
We were very pleased to welcome no less than four new members to field today, Ian Crossan, Harry Jarvis and Jon Freebody and Rod Freebody. We enjoyed their company and hope they will become regular shooters. It was also a pleasure to see our long-distance (Kent!) member, Tim Gazes, on the field as well as honorary life member and great friend to many, Tom Welch.
The next shoot, coincidentally, is the Rob Law Trophy, and that is on the 29th April. Let's make it one to remember.
Today we were shooting in the back-end of Doris, Thursday's epic storm. The wind had subsided a lot since Thursday but was still strong enough to make the shooting very tricky. Fortunately, the rain that threatened failed to materialise.
As we enter the closing stages of the Winter Series the points at stake today were very keenly fought over by the leading contenders. First out of the blocks was Mark Davies who scored a very creditable (given the conditions) 39/45 - just dropping the two birds. That was eventually surpassed by none other than Jason Findlay who just let one get away, to score 42/45 on one of his later cards. But it was the old master, Gary Crofts who came up on the outside and, second barrelling just the two birds, put in a stunning 43/45 to claim victory for the day and three points towards his Winter Series total. Jason gets the two points and Mark the one.
And so with just one shoot remaining, the trophy for this year looks very much like it's heading, along with most of the others, to the Findlay household. But, with Jason on 9 points and Gary Crofts on 6 it is still mathematically possible for Gary to clinch it, so the next shoot should be worth seeing.
(Click here for the full Winter Series table).
We also had a couple of trophies to award. Jason Findlay was presented with his Champions Trophy following his stunning 2016 performance and Mike Dunning has given his very well desrved trophy for Most Improved shooter in 2016. Mike managed to raise his average score by a full 20 percentage points, which for an already accomplished shooter is no mean feat. Very well done Mike.
Next shoot, the Winter Series finale is on the 25th March - should be exciting!
Firstly, best wishes for a happy and healthy New Year to all our members, guests and their families.
Today's shoot saw the resumption of our 2016/17 Winter Series and this event has now been changed to 10-pairs Double Rise.
Once again we were very lucky indeed with the weather. We arrived at the field in very heavy, wintry rain. But by the time we started shooting the clouds had thinned, the sun put in an appearance, and the field started to dry out. In the end, we didn't get wet at all and had a very enjoyable shoot - it's just a pity that there weren't more people there to enjoy it. The early rain must have put people off.
Most people struggled with the second bird today, with one or two notable exceptions. Gary Crofts and Russell Pierpoint put in very respectable performances with 15/20 apiece to claim joint 2nd place and 1.5 points each for the series. First place and the full 3-points went to Jason Findlay who scored an impressive 16/20 to claim victory. Well done to all three.
(Click here for the full Winter Series table).
Jason was also confirmed as Club Champion for 2016 with a startling average of 97.6% - massively impressive as he only joined us in March! Very well done indeed.
The "Most Improved" trophy for 2016 goes to Mike Dunning, who managed to increase his average from 71.4% in 2015 to 88.9% last year. Very well done to him too.
Next up is the 5th and penultimate Winter Series shoot on the 25th February - don't miss it!