THE excellent weather conditions were reflected in the shooting at Rathfriland Clay Pigeon Club recently as the shooters gathered for their most impressive night of the summer season so far.
The latest 20-bird DTL, held on Thursday May 24, saw 12 lines shot in tricky conditions; the sunshine making for difficult targets for some of the shooters.
Despite this Thursday night saw some fantastic efforts from various shooters across the pack. Rathfriland’s Raymond Graham blasted his way back to form, shooting a total of three 20/60 scores, a feat matched by Alan Fowler. Also on top form were Geoff Dale and junior shooter Aaron McDowell who both managed the 20/60 score twice. This was some excellent shooting, making for what would be another great final at Rathfriland.
The first shoot-off of the night saw Geoff Dale, Raymond Graham, Alan Fowler and Noel Carson go for more top scores. Veteran shooter Noel, who impresses regularly at Rathfriland, had put in another great shift, hitting his 20/60 early on. In the shoot-off it was that man Dale again making headlines, finishing the line with 20/59 - the best of the lot.
The second shoot-off was made up of William Robinson, Aaron McDowell, George Gracey and Neville Ferguson. For the majority of the line it looked like Ferguson would steal the win but he went on to second-barrel a target, just one from home, to force a final shoot-off with Geoff Dale. Banbridge’s Aaron McDowell would join the pair, also shooting 20/59.
The three shot off with single-barrel competition making things interesting. In the end it was junior shooter McDowell who took the spoils, keeping his nerve to beat off his competition.
Final results were as follows: 1st, Aaron McDowell; 2nd, Geoff Dale; 3rd, Neville Ferguson.
Some of the shooters present at Rathfriland will be hoping the good form shown can be carried into competition as the annual Kreighoff Classic event takes place across the water at the Mid-Wales shooting centre, held the first weekend in June. A number of local shooters are making the trip across including the previously mentioned Aaron McDowell, Mourne shooter Ronald Sloan and Aaron Smyth.
The club would like to wish the guys all the best; the Northern Ireland men will be hard to beat if recent shooting performances are anything to go by!
Twenty-bird competition continues at Rathfriland next Thursday night, 31 May. Shooting commences at 6pm as normal and all shooters are welcome.