Trevor Wilson watched as the Seniors were eclipsed at the Sporting Home International in Ireland
Carrickglen SGC has only been operating for about three years, and this beautifully situated Sporting ground has seen considerable investment into its development during this short period of time to give us the excellent facility we have for Sporting clay shooting today. The converted stone building makes for an excellent club house, and along with the surrounding farm buildings of similar construction, the location has been used on a number of film sets over the past three years. The club’s hilltop location does leave it prone to hill fog and heavy mist that has interrupted shooting for long periods or been the cause of shoot cancellations in the past, but the club were hoping for no such interruptions to the 51st English Sporting Home Countries International Tournament on 9 September.
There were 52 targets over stands 8-14 and the top score from the morning session over this part of the course was a 49 from the new British Open Sporting champion Martin Myers — awesome shooting with the targets even more challenging in the strengthening wind. Scoring was even tougher over stands 1-7 with stand five taking four or five targets off some big names, and stand seven saw numerous shooters record a zero from the six targets — a long-range looping target with a long-range crosser under power. Top score on this part of the course from the morning was a 44 from England Junior Joshua Bridges. The England team were well out in front in the Seniors but it was much closer in the other categories.
Martin Myers added a 41 from the afternoon to his earlier 49 to give us the first 90 of the day. Josh Bridges was three targets down from his first four stands of the afternoon but he shot his final (badly wind-affected) three stands straight to give Josh a tremendous tournament High Gun score of 93.
Following a few team shoot-offs and the resolution of a tie for Senior Runner Up – which was won by Shaun Stacey when he and Billy Baughan tied on 88 – it was back to the team hotel to get ready for team photographs and the presentation banquet.
During the after-dinner speeches the Carrickglen club were praised for the course they had put on for this tournament and well-deserved praise was given to Josh Bridges for an awesome score of 93 to take both tournament and Junior High Gun. England romped home in the Senior category with the host nation Ireland taking Runner Up, their High Gun David Dillon also taking the Captains Cup on 84. In the Ladies team, once again England secured victory with 151 to Ireland in Runner Up position on 138, but it was Ireland’s Linda Cleary who took the Ladies High Gun on a cracking score of 80. With Josh a part of the England Junior team, victory in this category was never in doubt. But, once again, it was Ireland in the Runner Up spot, a good result for the host nation. In the veterans it was England once again but this time Wales finished Runners Up with Nigel Hart of Wales taking Veteran High Gun on 81. Roles were reversed in the Super Veteran category, with Wales taking the winning position this time, and England the Runners Up. A very respectable 81 from England’s Brian Dunbavin earned him the Super Veteran High Gun trophy.