2021 Combined Clubs Spring Meeting
The Combined Clubs Spring Bisley Match Rifle Meeting was held over the weekend 8/9th May 2021 with match conditions altered radically to cater for the partial accommodation restrictions still in force. Thirteen NRCofS members and the sibling of another who has not yet realised he is Scottish attended.
Saturday was changed to a morning practice and an afternoon teams match. Those wise enough to have practiced in pleasant sunny conditions on Friday largely shunned the Saturday practice which was subject to cold, driving rain. At least the rain stopped for the afternoon although it remained cold and the strong crosswind required a generous 6-12 minutes of left hand correction. Scots were scattered across several teams but led by the Scots Free team of Angus McLeod, Ron Scaglione, Keith Baxby and Mike Buchanan who won the match outright by a healthy margin and despite having the lowest handicap. Quite what they were free from was debated but never concluded. Suggestions included Covid, Brussels, Westminster, Holyrood and travel restrictions with the latter seeming the most likely.
On Sunday the temperature rose noticeably and the wind abated somewhat to 3-6 minutes, still square across the range. The day was devoted to individual matches starting with a brief handicapped spoon shoot won by Mike Spencer with 51 (!) out of 50. The main event involved 20 to count at 1,000x and 15 to count at 1,100x and 1,200x. This was supposedly because nothing longer than 1,000x was available in the morning but the presence of a bank of 16 unused targets suggested this restriction was imaginary. The unusual conditions and slightly decaying wind meant the only possibles were recorded at the longer ranges – by Alex Cargill Thompson at 1,100x and Gareth James at 1,200x. Gareth’s strong finish won him the Welsh Challenge Cup, the LD Ranken Trophy (a Scottish trophy open to allcomers for 1,200x) and the overall meeting title. It is noticeable that he was using jacketed bullets of his own manufacture. Sophie Wentges of Ireland managed a 74 to finish as top lady just overtaking our Zoe Woodroffe. Angus McLeod managed the other 74 to take the most important trophy from a Scottish perspective, the Scottish VIII Cup, and second place overall. Nick Tremlett edged a close battle for third place and the English trophy. “Any Rifles” were also allowed alongside with Richard Kenchington taking 6th place overall with a 6.5mm rifle.
Although Bisley camp lacked the usual social activities, the meeting was much appreciated by those shooters taking to the range for the first time after a winter of lockdown. Thanks go to the Hissey family and other members of the English VIII who organised it.