A tough opening for Sussex sharp shooters

Small bore rifle shooting
Small bore rifle shooting

It has proved a mixed start to the season for Eastbourne’s Linda Smallbone and for the Sussex County Small bore Rifle Association.

Following a successful winter season in 2013/14 when the Sussex prone team came second in division one of the Inter County League and rounded off the season by winning the Inter County Knockout competition.

The team were hoping to build on that success this winter season, however, the first results of this winter haven’t all gone according to plan.

In the prone league, the Sussex team of 20 shooters lost their first round match to last winter’s champions Caithness by 1964 to 1953.

County Captain, Tony Wells (Cuckfield) and Rob Dowling (Chichester) both scored 100s, while Nick Mullins (5th Sussex), Linda Smallbone (Eastbourne), and Reg Roberts (Handcross) each chipped in with 99.

The reserves ‘A’ team fared better, beating Kent by 975 – 868 in division one of the reserves league, where Graham Fell (East Grinstead) scored 99 and Matthew Button, Tim Jemmett, Chris Phillips and John Booker each scored 98.

Shooting in division two, the ‘B’ team narrowly lost their opening match to Hertfordshire by 962 to 959 with Bill Richards and Alex Henderson each scoring 99.

This season the County is supporting four junior teams and, over recent years, has a strong record in this category.

The junior ‘A’ team started with a strong performance in division one with a win against Norfolk by 387 – 375.

The team’s Aldingbourne contingent all posting good scores with Mark Goater 99, Lewis Strotten 98 and Katie Gleeson 97.

The ‘B’ team lost their opening division three match against Devon ‘A’ by 384 – 376 with Jonathan Brooking (Horsham) scoring 96 and Felix Marshall (Southwick) and Matt Wilton (Fittleworth) each with a 95.

In division five, the ‘C’ team lost their round one match to Northants by 363 to 357, Sam Philips (Salvo) top scoring with 91. The ‘D’ team started their campaign with a win and a very good opening score of 369, Mark Collins (Aldingbourne) top scoring with 94 well supported by Josh Fitzpatrick (Hastings & St. Leonards) 93 and Scott. Strotten (Aldingbourne) 92.

In the much more difficult discipline of three positional shooting, where each competitor fires in the prone, standing and kneeling positions, the Sussex team were hoping to emulate last year’s success when they won division two of the Inter County league.

The team of three shooters started this winter with a win against Cambridgeshire by 799 – 790.

Robin Brown (Uckfield) top scored for Sussex with 272 x300 including a 100 in the prone position and a 99 kneeling.