THERE was something of a double-header at Rathfriland Clay Pigeon Club on Tuesday, 2 April, as the club continued their run of Easter events with another 100-bird DTL, as well as the annual 50-bird Ulster Single-Barrel Championship.
With the silverware up for the Ulster Championship, it seemed the single-barrel competition would take first priority among the shooters, with many signing up early on.
The additional race for silverware meant the regular 100-bird competition was slow to start; in the end a total of eight squads took on the three layouts. From the outset scores seemed to show sign of improvement; Jason Coffey was at it again, finishing with a superb score of 99/293. The Irish international shooter faced some stiff opposition as the day went on, with Gordon McDowell coming close, but fell away to finish on a score of 98/288.
There were some other high scores which threatened for high gun, including a 98/292 from Jim Crozier, and some 289 scores from the likes of William Heslip, and William Armstrong. However Coffey was not to be beaten and the in-form Irishman finished the day as 100-bird high gun.
Once again the local contingent was to feature within the prizes; Ballyvea’s Davy Megaw continued to dominate in B class, shooting 97/288 to complete his third class win of the Easter weekend, some fantastic shooting! Rathfriland’s George Gracey was also in good form, finishing third place in class A with a score of 96/282. Class places for the 100-bird competition were as follows;
High Gun - Jason Coffey; AA 1st – Jim Crozier, AA 2nd – William Armstrong, AA 3rd= Gordon McDowell & Ronald Sloan. A 1st – William Heslip, A 2nd – Hubert Gilmore, A 3rd – George Gracey. B 1st – David Megaw, B 2nd – Frank McKay, B 3rd - Gareth Millar. C 1st – Graham Thompson
As mentioned, the Ulster Single Barrel Championship was a popular outlet for the shooters throughout the day. The single barrel was shot over fifty targets, with the highest scorer taking home the cup. Early on in the day it was Artie Griffith who set the pace, firing a score of forty-nine to dominate. As the afternoon wore on it seemed there would be no opposition for the Bangor shooter, yet a late challenge made for late drama.
The final line of single barrel was made up of Darren Bell, Noble Patterson and Hugh Ervine, fresh from their efforts in 100-bird competition. Darren and Noble dropped targets on their first line, while Rathfriland man Ervine hit 25 straight to put the pressure on Griffith. However his second layout was not as assured and he finished on a score of forty-eight, one behind the eventual winner. Final results and class winners for single-barrel competition were as follows:
High Gun & Ulster Single Barrel Champion – Artie Griffith; AA 1st= Ronald Sloan & Darren Bell, A 1st – Hugh Ervine. B 1st= Alan Charleton & Tony Young, C 1st – Jimmy Rountree.
In closing, all those at the club would like to pass thanks to all those who attended over the Easter period. It takes a lot to run such an event, and between shooters and those helping around the ground, it is all greatly appreciated.
Shooting resumes at Rathfriland later in the year, and with summer league action on the horizon.