Home Internatioanl Skeet

England's winning Skeet team

The 31st Home International Skeet saw an England sweep of the team events.

This was the first year of a new format for the event and it was not all plain sailing as competitors arrived at Morton Clay Targets in Scotland.

The event had been revised to a 150-target format over two days; however, as the team managers met on the day prior to competition for the draw to make up the squads it became clear that not all of the details for the new format had been fully thought through.

The competitors were expecting to shoot 100 on day one and 50 on day two, after the meeting that was revised and the event was shot 75 on each day. Controversy over, the competitors turned up for a 9am start on Friday only to find the police investigating a crime scene.

Some great scores from the England team gave them the top prize

There had been a break-in at the clubhouse overnight and the trap houses were sabotaged with the door locks glued in place to prevent access. Shooting eventually got underway and by lunchtime all problems were forgotten by the teams, as they got stuck into the targets.

While a good number of competitors fancied their chances for a 75-straight on day one, the poor light rapidly put paid to the aspirations of all but a dozen on the field by the end of the first round. The targets were perfect but the black clays against a dark background in poor light cost many the odd target.

By the time all 101 competitors reached the halfway stage there was just Huw Evans (Wales) and Paul Nelson (Scotland) still on for a perfect score on 75 with just five on 74.

The team positions were beginning to take shape as they went into the overnight break: England’s Senior squad were just one target ahead of the Scots while among the Juniors both England and Scotland were tied in first place. England’s Ladies were standing two hits clear of the Welsh, and the England’s Veterans held a similar margin in front of the Scots. On Saturday all eyes were on Nelson and Evans to see if they could hit the perfect 150.

For Nelson the answer was all too soon apparent as he dropped a target on the first round, he followed that up with another 25 and a 24 to finish on 148 and Scottish High Gun.

Evans started his day with a 25 to bring up the 100 but faltered on the next round with a 24 and finished it with a 23 to end the day with 147 and Welsh High Gun. As the scores came in, the Welsh Ladies took the lead over England, one target ahead after the 100 mark and two ahead after 125.

With the final round to shoot the Senior places looked settled with England some seven targets ahead. The English Juniors had pulled out a lead of six and the Vets were now four clear.

England’s Ladies were now trailing Wales by two, largely due to Katie Cowell, who was just two down going into the final round when she let another three targets get by but still finished on 145 as Lady High Gun for the event.

The tension was enormous as Sarah Quinn put in a 24 to finish on 143 as Jenny Del-Rosso and Amber Hill both finished on 141. England’s Ladies had done enough to take the win by one target over Wales completing the clean sweep.

Among the individual scores Nick Marsden shot the only 149; he missed on his first round on day one before completing the rest to take overall individual High Gun.

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