School students starred at Clay Shooting magazine’s British Schools and Young Shots Championships over the weekend. Across three courses at EJ Churchill Shooting Ground, individual pupils and school teams visited from around the country to battle it out for bragging rights as Britain’s best shooters.
Possibly the most challenging targets of the weekend were thrown on the red course, but that didn’t deter Alex Wilkinson who took home the Clive Stanton Memorial Trophy. Shooting with his father Ed, Alex represented Brine Leas High School in the Parent-Child and individual categories, both of which he won with a score of 43. Out-shot by his son, Ed hit 39 for the duo to finish ahead of Ryan and Steve Cox on 78, and Taylor and Jon Hedgecock on 75.
The top team of the weekend were Kingham Hill A team, comprising Ben and Neil Taylor, Archie Fox, Sam Osborne, Charlie Bryant and Josh Goddard. They combined for 187 to win 600 cartridges, a Hatsan Escort Youth, the perpetual team trophy and individual trophies.
Norwich Old Pupils, made up of Will Littleboy, Neil Carter and Ben Steward easily topped this category with a score of 102.
The blue course saw Ladies and Cadets categories as the highlight. James Holdsworth of Bloxham School B won Overall High Gun on 43, ahead of Millfield School’s Eleanor Thwaites and Louise Smith. Both female shooters were consoled by taking first and second in the Ladies Individual category, respectively. Millfield’s Eleanor took home a pink Hatsan Muddy Girl, 250 Noble Sports cartridges donated by Edgar Brothers, and an individual trophy.
Bloxham School B continued its success behind the individual talent of Bradley Sharp and Rebecca Skipworth, who took the blue course one-two. Bradley’s incredible 41 earned him a Hatsan Escort Youth, 250 cartridges and the Billy Wells prize. They contributed to the winning team alongside Nick Von Sydow, George Ergatoudis, Charlie Robinson and James Holdsworth for a great score of 214.
Team success on the blue course was in abundance, and the Millfield Ladies 1 trio of Eleanor Thwaites, Libby Letchford and Ariane Freebody showed their dominance by hitting 112, while the nearest rivals managed 88. In the Parent-Child competition, Jess Allan teamed up with her father Rob (above) for a score of 83.
Great combined scores were the order of the day on the black course, which saw under-14s battle it out on competitive targets. The top of the team competition was a three-way tie between Maidwell, Ashfold and Helena Romanes schools on 67. To break the bottleneck, each team would have one competitor in the shoot-off, and Patrick McDonnell, Thomas Blowfield and Chris Burnip bravely stepped forward. Chris went first and hit five targets, only to be out-shot by Thomas who scored eight. The pressure mounted for Patrick, especially after three consecutive no-birds from one trap, but he held it together to score nine and win 300 cartridges, a Hatsan Escort Youth, a perpetual trophy and individual trophies for Maidwell School.
In the Parent-Child category, Brody Woollard (above, right) teamed with his father David for a score of 57, seven targets ahead of the next duo, with Brody hitting 29 of these to earn the Under-14s High Gun.
Special thanks go to Edgar Brothers who provided over £7,500 in prizes like Hatsan Escort shotguns and Noble Cartridges.