The acid test

It’s crunch time for Leah Southall as her exams come to an end and she shoots to try to earn her place on the England team

In 25-26 May, I attended the 21st annual Krieghoff DTL Classic at Mid Wales Shooting Centre. I was originally booked on to shoot the Friday as well, but due to having two exams on that day, I unfortunately had to pull out.

On the Saturday, it was like a sauna in the stands! I shot a 96/284, which I was quite pleased about considering I hadn’t been shooting as much as I would have liked. On the Sunday, the miserable weather seemed to foreshadow how my shooting was going to go.

My glasses were covered in spots of rain and the light conditions were constantly changing, but I didn’t shoot as badly as I initially thought I would. In the end I managed a 95/279, and with a combined score of 189/563 I was placed fourth in Colts, only two points away from third.

A huge congratulations to Dan Price, who won overall High Gun with two 100/300s, meaning there was no Super Final for the first time in 21 years!

A week later, on 1-2 June, I was at the final England DTL selection shoot held at Brook Bank Shooting Ground. This was the first time I had ever been to Brook Bank, so I was quite sceptical about the likelihood of a strong result. On the Friday, I had the opportunity to practise so I could get a feel for the ground and what the background was like.

The Saturday didn’t really go to plan, apart from when I shot a 25/75 on one of the layouts! The Sunday went much better and I shot a 95/282. Unfortunately that wasn’t enough for me to make the team this year, but I’m thankful to have had the opportunity to try out again, despite the pressure from my school to perform well in my exams.

Congratulations to the new caps: Tom Roberts, Thomas Burns, Mark Delf, Paul Osborne, James Tate, David Garrett, Russ Hufton, Clive Weston and Carole McGovern.

I have recently had the opportunity to try out a brand new gun cleaning product called Britbore Mops. They are made from a 100 per cent biodegradable material and each box contains 30 mops – enough for 15 gun cleaning sessions. They are available in 12, 16, 20 and 28 gauges, they are quick and easy to use, and they produce great results! I would definitely recommend trying them out!

My last GCSE and my last day at school was on 14 June. I feel as though a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders, and now you are likely to see me around grounds more, both in competition and training.

I’m ready to hit the ground running (as the saying goes) for the rest of the season; I have a whole 10 weeks off before I start college, and I aim to start shooting during the week whenever my parents can take me.

As I sign off this month, I am looking forward to the two-day Welsh Open DTL and various other competitions. Of course I’ll let you know how they went in the next issue of Clay Shooting.

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