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National 2003

Ballykinler

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England 2071v264
Ireland 2042v221
Scotland 2041v225
Wales 2013v216

Report by Bill Sharman Scotland Match Captain

For all those who couldn't make it to Ballykinler and those who were there but can't remember much about it, here are some thoughts and results from the weekend. see above. Scotland had four scores of 105: Alice Ogilvie with 15v's, Alex Hunter with 13v's, David Hossack and Alex Henderson with 12v's. Alex Henderson had two 35v6s under his belt and managed a 35v0 at 600. He was coached by Hossack and, by shooting first, David knew that he himself had 105v12, questions were being asked!! Both David and Alex shot extremely well over the previous two days of the Irish Championship so I asked them to both shoot and coach in this match. From the results it looks like they could be doing a lot more of it in the future! Thanks both...

At 300 we were only a point behind England at what is often our 'bogie' distance, we lost it a bit at 500 only to come back strongly at 600. To put things in perspective, this year's score beat last year's winning score and represents an average of 102ex105 across a team of 20. It doesn't seem that long ago that we were celebrating a Scottish team breaking the 2000 barrier under National conditions! It hurts to say so but all credit to the English performance. They turned up with a very, very strong squad plus all their most experienced coaches and came up with the goods on the day. An average of 103v5 across 20 shooters really is world class. :-(

We finished some time before the Irish at 600 so I watched their finish. Last two down - Fitzpatrick and McLean. Scotland 59 off, Ireland 57 of at that stage. Fitz dropped a point early on, 59 to 58 with us having a few v's more. Fitz stayed in the bull then and Alwyn (having started 33 and32) had a Captain's shoot of a 35 to give Ireland second place by one point.

The match was shot in the dry, amazingly, since almost every shoot in the lead up had had some rain, with some having lots of rain! Wind was quite strong,cold and blowing mostly at us, so not much variation. Rather too many shots were dropped to elevation - I know some of our team had difficulty with the sloping firing points which may have exacerbated the problem?

A great weekend was had by all; it was wonderfully organised by the Irish and the ranges were both scenic and in beautiful condition. The grass over the whole range area was much better than my lawn for a start! My sincere thanks to all those who made the trip, we seemed to generate quite a 'touring team' atmosphere which lead to a very pleasant weekend for all involved. I'll see many of you at Bisley where we can make this year a 'McKinnon year'.

Thanks again
Bill

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