Rifle club keep their aim in Appleton

Rubbing shoulders: the Rifle Club shot shoulder-to-shoulder against the other universities. Image: Akmal HakimRubbing shoulders: the Rifle Club shot shoulder-to-shoulder against the other universities. Image: Akmal Hakim

On Saturday the 29th of April, Newcastle University Student Rifle Club’s team of 12 competed at the BUCS Smallbore Outdoor Championships.

The competition was held at the extremely scenic Appleton Range near Warrington, giving the shooters a chance to expand their knowledge of competing at different ranges and conditions. The day consisted of members shooting 40 shots at 50 meters and 40 shots at 100 meters, with teams of eight, four, ladies 3, pairs and individual men’s and women’s.

There is always a high level of competition every year with teams from Edinburgh, Glasgow, St Andrews, Southampton, Durham, Exeter, Cardiff, Swansea, Nottingham Trent, Herriot Watt, Ulster, Aberdeen, Coventry and Leeds University.

12-strong team from Newcastle competed

Shooting began at 9am with near perfect still-wind conditions. Despite an overcast day, shooting conditions were very good, with teams performing well. Newcastle had been preparing for the outdoor shooting conditions by training at the near Sunderland outdoor range in the weeks building up to the competition.

Shooting shoulder to shoulder against the other universities, 40 shots at 50m and 40 shots at 100 yards, with a total of 10 points for each shot results in an overall score out of 800, first time competitor for Newcastle, Nick Yuen shot extremely well in the team of eight.

Newcastle’s team of eight all shot very consistently with an especially strong performance from the club President, Akmal Hakim Mohamed Rashid.  Consistency across the team enabled them to place 2nd in the team of eight, just behind Edinburgh University.

“Newcastle’s team of eight all shot very consistently”

Anna Mathews and Harry Laing, along with Theo Dodds and Finn Ryley, continued with good shooting to only drop 91 points in the team of four placing again 2nd behind Edinburgh. Theo and Finn then also went on to win the pairs, dropping 15 and 17 points. Narrowly missing out on 2nd by 3 points, they came 3rd in the Pairs shooting 768 out of 800. Anna and Harry placed 7th in the pairs, just 10 points behind.

First time competition shooters Kitty Witts and Amber Ayton got to experience shoulder to shoulder shooting, managing to place 8th in the ladies’ triad. This first time experience will have definitely helped them improve their shooting for the following year.

Individually, Theo Dodds just missed out from the medals placing 4th with 28 points dropped. The winning position was not far away dropping 24 points. Finn Ryley with some shaky starts managed to bring it back to place 7th dropping 33 points overall; very tight completion at the top. Great shooting from Akmal placed him 11th overall. Top ladies’ shooter in the individual women’s placed Anna Matthews 16th, dropping 55 points overall.

32 BUCS points earned for Team Newcastle

Amazing team efforts and brilliant experience from the new members won Newcastle a total of 32 BUCS points with a Team of 8 silver, Team of 4 silver, Pairs bronze and Theo Dodds placing 4th. Newcastle University Student Rifle Club now looks forward to the fullbore season, competing at the world famous Imperial Competition in the coming months.

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