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Steve Rigby (left) and Ian Dixon look relaxed as they wish each other luck


The top F/TR shooters were squadded onto the first detail of Match 1 and should have had the best conditions of the day but, with the exception of Russell Simmonds taking second on 67.1v it didn’t work out that way at all. Second detail shooters performed better with Altcar 101 RC’s Mick Longbottom getting the medal by a single V and Ross Opperman in third place on 65.1v. The other half of the Simmonds v Bagnall ongoing struggle for F/TR supremacy was down in 10th on 61.1v, so a major upset seemed to be unfolding.


The consensus was that Blair would see Laurie sink into mid-field at best, more likely bomb out completely and although he’d stayed in the top ten in the previous matches hadn’t shone so far. Now he shot 66.2v, seven points ahead of Adam on 59.4v and eight ahead of 3rd place Steve Lynch who’d been performing steadily throughout! Russell was down on 57.0v. Sensation! Saturday ended up thus:


Unlike Open, Match 2 didn’t get any easier for most F/TR entrants and scores dipped further, the medal going to Scottish F/TR team captain Paul Crosbie on a relatively lowly 64.2v on countback from Altcar’s Steve Donaldson both shooting 210s - albeit the Scouser’s projectiles were travelling a lot faster downrange. Adam Bagnall improved to third on 61.1v just ahead of Diggle’s Russ Howard who was having a better day than most so far. Russell Simmonds was just behind on 59, so still four points ahead of Adam on aggregate.


Open 1 2 3 4 5 6


F/TR


Gary Costello Peter Hobson John Campbell Anthony Dunne Ian Boxall


Mik Maksimovich


206.12v 206.10v 203.9v


202.13v 200.8v


199.10v Laurie Holland


Russell Simmonds Adam Bagnall


Steve Donaldson Steve Lynch Paul Harkins


183.5v 183.1v 181.6v 180.3v 174.5v 174.4v


F/TR had the final Saturday details and the general feeling was that Match 3 conditions were the most difficult of the day by a whole order. Disconsolate individuals were observed coming off the line in late afternoon with anything above 55 regarded as a good score. At this point, what I’ll call The Two Two Three Terror raised its head. What do you call a man who takes a 223 to Blair in early May in the face of a poor weather forecast? If you’re feeling generous, an optimist; if not you’d say a fool. I’m referring to Laurie Holland of course with the weird looking Savage and the dart like 90gn VLD ammunition.


Sunday Today’s programme was two 20 round matches, the Cairngorm, and the River Garry. The clouds were lower and more threatening after heavy overnight rain and the wind was getting up from the rear-right quarter again as competitors arrived on range. I’ll stick with F/TR as overnight leaders Laurie and Russell were squadded together on Match 4 detail 2 – no pressure on Laurie, then!


A weird ‘could only happen at Blair’ thing occurred as they waited their turn – a short but heavy storm passed over, seeing the non-shooters rush for tarpaulins to cover their gear up. The unfortunate (Open) shooters in detail 1 were protected of course but heavy rain and sudden wind switches ruined their day. Previously tight groups on the monitors opening right up in some cases.


Target Shooter 85


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