The annual match of the Anglo-Scots, or the English District of the Scottish Rifle Association – to give it its full and proper title, was fired on Sunday 22nd June 2003. Seven hardy souls braved the mist and the thunderstorm which prevented the NRA from sounding the hooter to start shooting at 8:30a.m. as usual. Discussions among the team captains as to how we might modify the match course of fire were curtailed when, conditions having clearly improved, the hooter went at 8:35a.m. Possibly it was just it being struck by lightning, but everyone carried on anyway.
Mark and Womble were persuaded to coach and, perhaps knowing which side their bread was buttered, got each other 49v7 and 50v7 at 300x, leaving the rest of the team with various shades of 47, except for the Captain who struggled to break 45. Scores followed the weather at 600x, generally improved: John and Richard had 50v8 and 50v7 with Mark staying clean for the short range. There were also two 48s but the captain only managed to improve by 1.1 which prompted contemplation of a drastic change, bringing the No. 4 out of retirement for the long range half perhaps? Fortunately a try of Mark’s long range gun was offered and accepted and 5 shots at 600x to get an elevation yielded 25v3 without a wind coach, leaving but one conclusion….anyone know a good gunsmith?
After lunch the weather really improved, the sun shone, the ice cream van actually sold some ice cream – which was to the closest to a 99 I got all day, shorts were in evidence……and the wind got up. The scores held up well at 900x, only three points separating bottom from top, Henry and Mark getting 49s but outdone by Sarah on 49v8. Things changed rapidly at 1000x - Womble was far and away our best with 49v5. I shot straight after him, the target showed his last bull, fired on 3 left whereas my sighter (and all the other shots!) showed that 9 left was required! Sadly the Army did very well at this range taking 10 points off us. Although we matched Wales at long range, the 12 point lead they had over us from the morning saw them into second place.
A splendid tea followed in the Army and the top scorers in the other teams, John Howard-Davis (Wales) 195v29, Mark Roberts (ATRC) 196v21 and Angus McLeod (Army) 196v22 were presented with an SRA badge for their efforts.