The second week of shooting saw all ten teams in the Shrewsbury Bell Target league attempt to win two points from their matches.
The Breidden who were winners of the winter league last year faced off against the away Marchamley team who were unable to tame the champions.
The home side started and ended their seven shooters matches with possibles being scored, Dai Tom Williams getting them underway with a 37 out of a maximum available 38.5. Rich Lewis was the team’s anchor-man and also received a round of applause from all for his excellent 37.5 score. Honourable mentions also to Martin Pearce and Tabitha Corbett for both also scoring 37.5 whilst missing the bull only once. The Marchamley team visiting Middletown were captained by Ian Ankers who saw his squad containing Dominic Spenser and Steve Evanson each doing well with a 34.5 but it was an unassailable lead proving too much for the travelling team with the result being 183 vs 167.5.
Summer league winners Telepost travelled to face the A team at the Cock Inn, Hanwood to have their mettle tested. No possibles from either team on the night but exceptional shooting from Dan Pritchard saw him drop one shot out of the bull to finish with a great 36 on the scoreboard. Two other Telepost shooters followed Dan’s lead and dropped a single shot out of their seven to just miss out on the possible, Bob Griffiths putting away a 36.5 and Aaron Knight with his 36 helped the visitors to build up a credible score of 178 against the home team’s 168.5. Allan Darby, captain of the Cock Inn team was happy that Martin Lloyd had dropped only two of his shots outside of the bull to total up a 34.5 and their first two shooters in the line-up Steve Jones and Ted Duckett each scored 34 to assist their team to maintain a good average score.
Unison Social Club travelled out into the dark night to visit Condover Social Club in a thrillingly close match that saw a single possible being scored by Mike Lewis from the away team being last to shoot and popping in a great 37 score that saw the room erupt with cheers to mark his achievement. Lucy Thomas for Unison dropped a single shot to just miss out on the possible with a 35. Andy Lawrence faced the home side’s Derek Berkley in a match that saw a one point difference between the two, Berkley shooting a 34.5 against Lawrence’s 35.5. Unison and Condover finished side by side in the table last season so it’ll be interesting to see how these two teams continue through the first half of the season.
Whilst the Cock A were at home, the B team visited the Harlescott Social Club to shoot against their B team. The home side saw some good scores from Adam Binnersley (35) and a cracker of a shoot from Rian Pacini with his 36.5 narrowly missing out on a possible being added to his tally by wavering on his fourth shot. Cock B saw their first and seventh shooters put all seven of their shots in the bull, Rich Morgan and Joe Hilditch each adding a 36 to the team’s total to bring their aggregate up to 178.5 against the home team’s 166.5. Cock B look like a powerful team who may beat their second place finish last season if they can get on top of the steadfast Breidden later in the season.
Bomere Heath’s Red Lion team invited the Harlescott Social Club’s A team to play on their target and racked up a strong 174 against the visitors 157.5. No possibles from either team but Matt Knight and Andy Williams got close with a 36 each to help their team to victory whilst the Harlescott A’s John Keen shot well to hit his team’s top score of the night of 33. Harlescott A shot above their average from last season and will get stronger as the team continue to improve.
While the start of the season is only just getting underway it could be anyone’s league this year. Strong teams at the top might be too much for the lower half of the table but anything can and often does happen. The teams are proving that this sport, which is over 100 years old, still has a loyal following and is seeing new younger shooters arrive on the scene at the same time as some shooters return from a break of a few years. October sees the first Interleague competition take place at Broseley with multiple leagues taking part. Squads of 12 shooters from Shrewsbury, Montgomeryshire, Broseley, Bridgnorth, Wrekin and Much Wenlock leagues often have a colossal shoot to see who can take the silverware. More details can be found on our Facebook page if you search for Shrewsbury and District Air Rifle Association League and if you’d like to get involved feel free to get in touch.
Report by: Bob Griffiths