Onwards and upwards for Leah Southall

A day when you get to train at Mid Wales can’t be all bad

Leah Southall continues on her quest to become the next big name in DTL

The last day of March saw me visit Nottingham and District Gun Club for the first time in a while, for the Help for Heroes 100 DTL registered shoot. It was my first opportunity to try out my CENS Digital ProFlex DX5 plugs and they are fantastic.

Focusing on the shoot in general, it was quite windy (which it generally seems to be up there) and extremely cold. I didn’t shoot my best; I was recovering from an illness that I had had all week, which isn’t an excuse but it certainly didn’t help matters. All I could do was to hope that I would improve my scores for the following weekend, where I would be competing at Fauxdegla.

The next day, 1 April, it was time for the invitations to be sent out for the England DTL selection shoots for 2019. I was lucky enough to get an invite, which meant I would be competing in the selection shoots at Nottingham, North of England, and Brook Bank.

My first major shoot to kick off the 2019 season was the DTL Grand Prix at Fauxdegla Shooting Ground. As most of you know, I love competing at Fauxdegla because Mike and Debbie who run the ground are lovely people, and because the backdrop is stunning to shoot against.

On the first day, I shot a 97/285, and I kept my form going for the second day posting a 95/282. This gave me a combined score of 192/567, which I was pleased about – I have started the season as I mean to go on.

My score placed me first in Colts and third in Juniors, which I won trophies for. I came fourth in Ladies, but I was only three points away from coming joint third with Jane Hitchmough and Caroline Stanbrook.

Leah left the DTL Grand Prix at Fauxdegla with a good haul

The weekend after, it was off to Nottingham and District Gun Club for the first England DTL selection shoot. On both days, there was hail, rain, strong winds and it was bitterly cold.

On the whole, it was a disappointing weekend for me as I didn’t shoot as well as I had hoped, but there are still two more shoots to go and it’s the best two out of the three scores that count. I’m taking the shoot as a learning experience as there were many lessons that I learnt over the course of the weekend.

There was a slight change of plan for 20 April. I was supposed to be shooting down at North Cornwall Shooting Ground, but something unavoidable came up, so I made the most of my Saturday by going to Mid Wales Shooting Centre to do some training.

The England selection shoot was a learning experience

It was good to get a chance to make use of my Laporte/CPC sponsored clays, which are held there. You may have noticed that I haven’t been doing as much shooting as I usually do. That is because my GCSEs are coming up in May and I have been spending some time away from shooting to prepare myself the best that I can for my exams.

It has become a bit of a rarity for me to train, but I try to do so as often as possible. I decided to shoot Single Barrel as well as DTL, to get me used to not using the second barrel, because I tend to shoot the bits even though there is no need to do so.

As I write this I am currently looking forward to the second England DTL selection shoot at North of England, and the up and coming Krieghoff DTL Classic. I can’t wait.

Leah Southall is a DTL shooter who has made remarkable progress since taking up shooting in 2016, recently achieving an England cap.

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