The third England team selection shoot took place at Garlands Shooting Ground in the West Midlands on Sunday 24 May. These shoots are normally run over two days, but with other shoots taking place over last weekend’s extended Bank Holiday, referees were short on the ground so Steve and Allison Lovatt had no option but to put the competition over just one day.
Steve decided to put on 14 stands to help speed up the running of the event, but there was no waiting whatsoever. There were over 280 entries, which is a great achievement for a ground to get through in just one day, but there were times when you thought that there were not many people there at all due to the good organisation.
One of the first scores to come into the clubhouse was a 93 posted by current team member Chris Childerhouse. But time would tell if that would be enough, and another 93 quickly followed from Richard King, who had travelled up from Dorset at the crack of dawn. The in-form Scott Barnett is closing in on his first England team cap and posted 93, which seemed to be the benchmark that everyone would to have conquer if they wanted to get zero points for team selection.
The round was a steady set of targets but you still had to work hard for every hit. In the past few months, course setters have been putting lots of long extreme targets on, and while this was a team selection shoot it is not always necessary. Steve got this one spot on, just like the previous selections.
There were probably four or five targets that wanted a big gap: stand two was a simo pair with a long right-to-left crosser, stand eight was a longish right-to-left quartering-away pink looper that needed a bit of lead followed by a standard off a scissor lift tower that wanted a much bigger lead. But people missed the first bird in front because they were thinking about the tower bird and the big gap it required – clever course setting.
Rosie Brumby shot early and came in with 83, which at the of the day was good enough to take the Ladies title. There were two more 93s from Arnie Palmer and Paul Ibbottson, who went on to win A-class.
Enter Mark Winser. Mark is in the best form of any shooter at this moment in time. He started like a man on a mission and shot the first 13 stands straight. The last stand had three pairs on-report of a close incomer followed by a fast right-to-left pink low crosser. Mark was straight until his 96th target, the fast crosser, which he let slip away.
He finished on 99 – an out of this world score – and later said he was a bit disappointed he missed the one target that would have given him that 100-straight.
Here’s hoping he remembers to put his scores in for the team selection.
High Gun Mark Winser 99
Runner Up = Chris Childerhouse, Arnie Palmer, Richard King, Paul Ibbottson 93
High Gun Rosie Brumby 83
Runner Up Alexandra Skeggs 80
Third Overall Georgia Moule 78
High Gun Josh Bridges 84
Runner Up Taylor Hedgecock 83
Third Overall David Ferriman 79
High Gun Keith Row 86
Runner Up John Wells 86
Third Overall Adrian Johnson 85