Scotland v Australia 2019
Jubilee Range Blair Atholl 6th/7th July
28 Shooters attended this extra weekend at Blair, 19 Scots and 9 Australians. The individual competition on the Saturday was categorised by semi benign conditions at 987 yards with the highest score from Fergus Flanagan of 74.10. What was remarkable about this was that it was the first time Fergus had been to Glen Tilt, let alone shot the range, beginners luck or the shape of things to come?. Fishtailing winds had many scratching their heads as to whether it was right or left wind, let alone what strength. Whilst not warm, the rain stayed off and there was sufficient wind to keep the midges away, although not the flies. Top score at 1114 went to Mike Buchanan with 73.04. The outstanding shot of the day however was Mike Barlow whose 73.9, 71.3 and 73.06 made him the winner of the grand aggregate and the top score at 1233 yards by a comfortable 3 points. The top Australian scorer was Shane Courtney lying in 14th place with 208.10. All four were presented with prizes of malt whisky at the dinner that evening.
During shooting the Captains’ Quaich was displayed to be shot for the next day by Scotland and Australia. The trophy was donated by the current and four previous Captains of Scotland and the plinth inscribed with the scores in the last three matches between the countries.
The sun shone intermittently the next day for the match, the first team match to be shot by Scotland using electronic targets which produced some head scratching as how to integrate the technology into a traditional fully coached match. The coaching team was Colin Hayes (Main Coach), with Fergus Flanagan and Ron Scaglione and target coaches and Hannah Fisher and Colin McEachern as plotters. Firers were Messrs Buchanan, Barlow, Campbell-Smith, Kidner, Crichton Maitland, Thomson, Sweet and McLeod. Adjutant was Zoe Woodroffe.
There were some very strong performances with nobody dropping below 70 at the first two distances. Mike Barlow had a 75.13 and Iain Thomson a 75.11 at 987 yards and Jon Sweet a 75.10 at 1114 yards. Jon was the highest scorer of the match at 222.20 out of a possible 225.45, a remarkable score. Again, the winds fishtailed, but were principally northerly, dropping the temperatures so that the coaching teams wore four or five layers with rugs over their knees.
Scotland’s final score of 1718.177 (589.73, 578.64 and 551.40) was comfortably ahead of Australia with 1643.111 (562.48, 561.34 and 520.29), so possibly local knowledge does help! What was remarkable was the speed of shooting with the electronics, with 7 or 8 minutes being adequate for each firer and all ranges being completed in an hour or less.
Jeremy Gaywood was the epitome of an unbiased Umpire and after the match presented the Captains’ Quaich to Scotland with individual quaiches for both winners and runners up. Jim Brown acted as Range Officer on both days. An excellent sandwich lunch was provided by Rosemary Meldrum on Sunday. Our thanks to all of them. Keith Baxby kindly volunteered to provide score boards, something he soon regretted in the face of the extreme logistical difficulties, but the result was a triumph. Well done and many thanks Keith.
Our thanks as always to Tim Kidner for organising a smoothly running meeting. West Atholl Rifle Club (and its Secretary Ron Scaglione) are to be thanked for the unsurpassed venue and its efficient targetry which ran without a hitch, although a delay of up to ten seconds in registering hits during one detail on Saturday gave some firers moments of panic.
Mark Crichton Maitland
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|Pos.||July 6th 2019||Sat.||Sat.||Sat.||Grand||July 7th 2019|
|Name||987X||1114X||1233X||Agg.||Scotland v Australia||987X||1114X||1233X||Total|
|Top score 987X|
|Top score 1114X|
|Top score 1233X|
|Winner Grand Agg.|