For the second year running the Clive Stanton memorial trophy stays in its home county of Warwickshire after the biggest young shots event in a decade.
Warwickshire-based William Allan won the British Schools and Young Shots Championship at EJ Churchill on 30 April.
The championship saw almost 400 entries – the highest figure in over a decade – and high standards of shooting from participants as young as 13.
Following the same successful format as previous years, blazing sunshine meant that no-one minded waiting a few minutes for a free stand at the busiest periods. The black course, for prep school shooters, saw a whopping 83 entrants under 14, the blue course was set to test B teams, ladies and cadets and the most challenging red course was set for the A teams.
The event ran smoothly and although there was some waiting around for results to be announced, with such a high entry that was to be expected. EJ Churchill’s ground manager, Adam Calvert, said: “We had a slight hitch with a trap motor on the red course, which set us back about half an hour, but apart from that everything went really smoothly and we were pleased with the feedback from the young shooters, parents and staff.”
A fierce breeze was blamed for some more challenging targets on the red course and the event’s founder Sam Grice, who was shooting as an Old Pupil, said: “It was a tough course. Too many loopers for my liking but I think they coped well. There is certainly a lot of talent here.”
Overall High Gun, William Allan, from Kineton High School, has been shooting for almost four years, he said that the most challenging stand of the day for him was stand three, a twisting left-to-right crosser, where he scored just 5ex-8 – but his overall score of 44ex-50 was enough to put him on top of the table. He added: “I’m looking forward to shooting some more competitions this season; I’m hoping to come back to E.J. Churchill for the Clay Shooting Classic in June.”
The 15-year-old winner took home the Clive Stanton memorial trophy, donated by Clay Shooting’s publisher Wes Stanton in memory of his late father and his contribution to clay shooting at Warwick School, along with 500 Eley Hawk cartridges.
Runner-Up was Dom Craven from Bloxham School on 41 and third place saw a tie on 40 between Matty Athwal, Guy Trees, Ben Llewellin and Taylor Hedgecock.
Taylor shot the red course after scoring 31ex-32 on the black course, which saw him tied for the title between brothers Neil and Ben Taylor.
A shoot-off was required to separate the boys and two straight score cards from Taylor and Ben meant a second round was needed. Eventually nerves got the better of Ben and he dropped one leaving Taylor to take the Prep course High Gun for the second year in a row.
On the blue course it was Rosie Brumby who took the High Gun title and the Ladies High Gun on 48ex-50, followed in joint second place by Ben Prescott, George Everett and Amanda Murray all on 45.
Amanda was also Runner-Up in the Ladies followed by Victoria Young-Jamieson on 44. The Cadet event saw Guy Trees defend his title and take home the cadet High Gun trophy after shooting 43ex-50 on the blue course. He was followed by Theo Dodds from Tonbridge on 40 and third place saw a tie between Benjamin White, Jonathan Gowers and Sebastian Pudney on 37.
As is the nature of the event, titles cannot be dominated by individuals for many years as with Senior competitions, however, all the team trophies this year went back to the same place they had come from – although some team members had changed.
Bilton Grange’s Ben Taylor, James Eggleston and Neil Taylor, won the Prep team event with a fantastic score of 89ex-96, well ahead of Maidwell Hall Black team; Alex Palmer, Fred Allhusen and Harry McGrath, in second on 81 and Ashfold A, Edward Day, Max Thompson and Roland Swift, in third on 72.
The Ladies winners are presented with the Sam Grice shield and this year the event founder was there in person to present the award to the defending champions Millfield Ladies. The team’s three-year reign at the event may be coming to an end as Victoria Young-Jamieson and Georgia Boscawen leave the school in the summer for university, but they said they are confident the B team can defend their title next year.
Georgia added: “It was a great course, we always enjoy coming to shoot here as there is always plenty of variety in the targets and as we have won now for a third year it makes us feel that we have really achieved something.
It was Holly’s first year in the A team and she did really well, but we will have to leave it in the hands of the younger girls next year.” Victoria, Georgia and Holly Lockhart scored 112 ahead of their B team in second place on 101 and Cokethorpe Ladies took third place on 99.
Millfield also defended their B team title as Ben Prescott, Cadman, George Everett, Jeffrey Pang, Oliver Everett and Theo Lawry hit a massive 33 more targets than Runners-Up Stowe.
Millfield’s B team scored 243ex-300 to take the title and received tremendous and well-deserved congratulations when they were presented with their trophy. Third place saw a tie between Bloxham School B and Kimbolton School B who both scored 102.
On the red course Cokethorpe held on to the trophy for the third year running with a one point lead over Strathallan School A in second on 216 and Bloxham School A in third on 215.
Cokethorpe’s captain George Kerr was part of last year’s winning team and was overall Runner-Up in 2010. He said that he was really pleased with his team’s result and was thrilled that they had managed to retain the trophy for three years running. He said “I didn’t shoot as well as I had hoped, but as a team we shot really well and I was particularly pleased with Matty Athwal, he shot really well and his score of 40 put him in joint third overall. It was a good course and a great day but stand five was quite hard.”
Parent and Child
Always a popular event, this year’s parent and child events saw some fine shooting. The Prep event saw a tie between Ben and Neil Taylor, who each shot with Mr Taylor, and James and Edward Spratt who all scored 59ex-64. Unfortunately Mr Taylor had to leave before a shoot-off could be conducted so the Spratts took the trophy but in the true spirit of the day left the Eley Hawk cartridge-prize to be split between the Taylor brothers.
On the blue course it was Laura Nettlefold and her father, John, who took the title with a score of 82ex-100. Amber Hill and her grandfather Bill Rogers took second place on 79 and third place saw Edward and James Spratt re-enter to finish in third place on 78.
It was close scoring on the red course too as Jake and Paul Moore led by two points on 80. Second place went to John and Bob Spademan on 78 and Taylor and Jon Hedgecock took third place on 76.
As always we ran an Old Pupils event and it was particularly nice to see some of last year’s shooters of the main event coming back for more. A total of nine teams entered the event, which saw Warwick Old Boys once again take the title with 113ex-150. Second place went to Old Swinford on 112 and Cokethorpe took third place on 111.
We look forward to hearing more from these young shots as they proceed in their shooting careers and hope to see plenty of the same faces as well as some new ones at the event next year. Details will be announced shortly so keep an eye on the website where you can also find a full set of results: www.clay-shooting.com.
Clay Shooting magazine would like to thank Ruth Burgess, Sara Farmanfarmai and James Folkard for all their hard work in organising and running the event as well as the team at EJ Churchill and our event sponsors Eley Hawk.