Monday, 31 October 2016

City vs HMS Excellent

Last Thursday marked City's first match against HMS Excellent in a few seasons, after HMS Excellent A were promoted to Division 1 at the end of last season.  It was a home match and here were the scores:

Portsmouth City - 486

I. Cooper (97)
J. Rowe (98)
A. Nevatte (97)
G. Scruton (96)
P. Upchurch (93)
S. Hart (98)
L. Haskett (95)
HMS Excellent - 463

J. Atkins (94)
T. Dugan (90)
W. Dugan (95)
E. Metcalfe (93)
I. Thomson (91)
B. Witts (87)

So City finally gets a win on the board although the team average wasn't helped by this match and we can only hope that we bring our A game again next week's rivals - Havant.

It was great to see HMS Excellent again in Division 1 and we look forward to the away match on the Tipner range later in the season.

Monday, 17 October 2016

The Sarisbury Away Match - City's 2016/17 Shoulder-to-Shoulder Season Gets Started

City's shoulder-to-shoulder season had a bit of a misstep last week as our first match, a home match against Chichester, had to be cancelled at the last moment due to a particularly nasty traffic accident on the A27.  We'll reschedule that match for later in the season, but this did mean that our season started off with an away match against the reigning league champions, Sarisbury.

Last year's matches against Sarisbury often left City wanting (see match reports here, here and here).  So how did we do tonight?

Sarisbury - 490

T. Gleed (93)
M. Guille (100)
P. Pearce (99)
G. Barber (95)
M. Holdway (97)
I. Kuprov (99)
P. Fitzsimmons (94)
Portsmouth City - 489

I. Cooper (96)
A. Nevatte (97)
S. Hart (98)
G. Scruton (100)
J. Rowe (94)
R. Ashman (98)
T. Sommerville (79)

So Portsmouth City is not off to the best of starts but with 489 we still managed to shoot well above last year's team average of 486.7 so there is definitely cause for hope.  Many congratulations to Sarisbury for edging a win and well done to Matt Guille and Gordon Scruton for the possibles.

Special apologies go to Tom Sommerville, who on his first ever shoulder-to-shoulder match had to shoot in a borrowed jacket with an unfamiliar scope.  Sorry, Tom, I'll remember your jacket next time! :-)

Friday, 7 October 2016

The 2016 Summer Report, pt 3: Indoor Shooting Postal Leagues

Last year, Portsmouth City’s A Team was very pleased to win Division 1 of the summer postal league. We would have been similarly pleased to defend our title this summer but had to settle for 3rd place this year – well done to Windsor Rifle Club and Fareham Rifle Club’s A teams for coming 1st and 2nd respectively. The upside of this competition was that we still beat Sarisbury (which doesn’t happen very often)!

Unfortunately, the summer postal leagues are never as well subscribed as the winter leagues, leaving fewer divisions and therefore meaning that teams of a wide range of ability are forced to compete against each other. This was the case for Portsmouth City’s B team - M. McCormick, D. Reeves, T. Rowe and D. Herron (with T. Sommerville very kindly subbing in for one round) - but these shooters should hold their heads up high that they competed, got all their cards shot, and all improved their shooting as is reflected by their improved averages of the second half of the season, compared with the first.

In the individual postal competition, G. Scruton won Div 2.

Dave Reeves was also very pleased to win a Moore Memorial Trophy for his performance in Class D!

The individual postal summer league finished only a few weeks ago with some of our shooters achieving very respectable places:

Ian Cooper (Runner Up, Div 1)

Jonathan Rowe (Runner Up, Div 3)

Tamsin Rowe (Runner Up, Div 9)

David Owen (3rd place, Div 10)

A number of Portsmouth City shooters managed to achieve respectable scores despite not necessarily achieving a particularly high place in the division.  One notable exception to this was Tom Sommerville and Matt Simmons, who came 1st and 3rd respectively in Division 12.

Newmarket & District Short Range Open Postal

The Newmarket shoot is a short 4-card competition that happens between February and May (yes,  a little bit before summer technically, sorry) and this year Portsmouth City had 11 people competing.  The club was very proud to have a number of their shooters placed in this competition.  Gordon Scruton won the B Class and there was success further down the classifications as well.

Tom Sommerville & Tamsin Rowe both newcomers to the sport and with less than a year of experience under their belts, showed that there is certainly some raw talent that the Portsmouth City team will be looking to develop and capitalise on over the next few years.  Tamsin won the E Class with a very respectable score of 369 (out of 400), beating Tom, who came runner up, by only one point!

Tom Sommerville & Tamsin Rowe (or Mr Somerville and Tasmin as their certificates would have you believe!)
Tamsin also came Runner Up in the C/D/E class ladies' competition, meanwhile Gordon and Jonny came Runners Up in the A/B pairs competition.

One last thing that happened over the summer was a personal achievement and one that a shooter never really forgets - Lauren Haskett, now using a new jacket equal to her abilities, got her first ton!  Well done, Lauren, may it be the first of many.

Thursday, 6 October 2016

The 2016 Summer Report, pt 2: Shooting Outdoors

The Hampshire Long Range Open Meeting

In preparation for the ELEY finals at Bisley (see part 1) a number of our shooters were keen to get a bit of outdoor practice in beforehand.  As a result, a few of us went up to Andover Rifle Club to enjoy a fine day of shooting on their outdoor range.

This was a Double Dewar match, meaning two cards shot at 50m and two cards at 100yds.  Each card has a maximum of 200 points on it, so final scores are out of 800.  The shooting is a little different from the standard indoor shooting, which we do at 25yds; the targets are further away but they are also bigger, and therefore because they are bigger, we can shoot more than one competition shot into each target.

Let's compare:

A standard 25-yds indoor 10-bull (the shots have been coloured red to make them clearer in these pictures).
Zoom in on the 25-yd card and you see that there is only one competition shot per target.
A shot 50m outdoor card.  Only 4 competition targets.

Zoom in on one of the targets and you can clearly see 5 competition shots
A shot 100-yds card with two competition targets.
Zoom in on one of the 100 yds targets and you will see 10 competition shots.
So the upside of outdoor shooting is that there is less moving around from one target to the next.  The difficulty lies in changing light and wind conditions.

Matt Simmons, Jonathan Rowe, and Tamsin Rowe, all shooting at 100 yards for the first time!

Owing to the fact that none of us shoot particularly regularly outdoors, this match represented a steep learning curve for those of us for whom this outdoor shooting was all new and those more experienced of us who had to remember what we were supposed to be doing.  It was a great competition that presented Tamsin and Matt with their first outdoor experience, and Jonny with his first 100 yds experience.  None of us did astoundingly well, except perhaps Tamsin, who proudly took away the Phyllis Green Trophy (top lady in C/D class).

Well done, Tamsin!

The Bisley Weekend Aggregate

A couple of City shooters, Gordon Scruton and Jonathan Rowe, decided to not just do the ELEY final but go up and do the whole weekend aggregate of the annual Bisley meeting.  This involved three cards at 50m and three cards at 100 yds, making a sum-total of 120 competition shots (thus 1,200 points in total).  This was an awful lot of fun and we'd encourage as many of you as possible to set aside the weekend next year to join us.  There was camping involved, BBQing and lots of the infamous 'Bisley wind' to throw the shots off.

Particular highlights in the shooting over the weekend were Jonny's high placing in C Class at 50m and, to a lesser extent, Gordon's placement in A Class for his 50m.

The Dacorum Open Handicap Shoot

A little time after Bisley weekend, a few more shooters decided to go up to Buckinghamshire for a handicap shoot, this handicap was based on a shooter's declared average.  Much like handicaps in golf, this is a way for shooters with different levels of skill to enjoyably compete against each other.  This competition marked a couple more firsts for Portsmouth City shooters - for Mike McCormick it marked his first time shooting at 100 yards, and for Tom Sommerville it was his first outdoor shoot entirely.

Mike and Tom shooting on the 50m range.

No significant wins in this competition but it was a great, if slightly drizzly day and a fun time was had by all!

Havant's Final Fling 'Scottish Match'

This annual competition marks one of the last competitions of the outdoor summer season.  A Scottish match is one that is only at 100 yards, and in this case was 60 competition shots.  Portsmouth shooters, Ian Cooper and Gordon Scruton took part in this competition, both in A Class, and while neither got close to winning the class (well done to Cliff Richards of Havant for that) it was pretty close between the two of them.

That's the end of the outdoor round up, but the next part of this summer report will look at the indoor postal leagues.

Wednesday, 5 October 2016

The 2016 Summer Report, pt 1: The ELEY Final

It will not have escaped the notice of some of you that it has been some time since I’ve contributed to this blog – many apologies. Here’s a summary of how the club and its shooters have been doing over the summer:

Portsmouth City was proud to send 5 shooters to the NSRA/ELEY final this year. This was an excellent number to get to the 50m outdoor final from a total of 12 shooters who took part in the competition. For J. Rowe and M. McCormick, this competition was about besting their scores and standing compared to last year, while at the same time being in higher, more competitive divisions. While for the ladies, this was L. Haskett and T. Rowe’s first time shooting in these finals and thus their first experience of the infamous wind on the Century Range.

Here’s how everybody did:

G. Scruton (191, 188 – 379), Class A: 20th place

J. Rowe (192, 186 – 378), Class C: 4th place (achieved 4th place in Class E last year: 185, 192 - 377)

L. Haskett (189, 185 – 374), Class E: 2nd place

M. McCormick (177, 179 – 356), Class E: 7th place (achieved 9th place in Class F last year: 170, 182 - 353)

T. Rowe (179, 177 – 356), Class F: 9th place

So overall it was a great Sunday afternoon of shooting for Portsmouth City.  The next post will stay outdoors and review some of the other 50m and 100yd matches that City shooters have taken part in over the summer.