Aston Villa Women get a taste for shooting

Lea Marston Shooting Club welcomed the Aston Villa Women Football Club for a friendly day of competition on a chilly but sunny 4 January.

Sophie Haywood gets some tips from Paul Dancer

The day was organised by CPSA Coach Paul Dancer, who was inspired after recognising that the two sports shared transferable skills.

With the team arranged into three squads – Forwards, Midfield and Defenders – four stands were shot, with five clays at each. Conditions were very bright, with the low winter sun making visibility tricky. Wind was light. 

The stands were set up for novices, but two of them provided a real challenge. Stand two, an incomer, rose quickly and dropped equally fast, with little dwell time. Stand four quartered away quickly with a nasty curve. Even Lizzie Williams, ambassador for the day, was caught out. 

The leaders from each squad – Sophie Haywood (13 ex-20),  Jodie Hutton (10 ex-20) and Natalie Haigh (10 ex-20) – went through to the final on the Skeet range.

Paul set up the Skeet to swiftly increase in difficulty. Two singles were followed by a report pair before a simultaneous pair provided the final challenge. Sophie Haywood triumphed, with Jodie Hutton taking silver and Natalie Haigh bronze.

“I didn’t know what to expect, but we’ve really enjoyed it,” said Sophie Haywood. “Football and shooting have both been male-dominated sports, something we’re trying to overcome at Aston Villa. It’s good to see more women being encouraged into shooting too.”

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