Local shooters hit the headlines at championships

World Championship-winning junior squad
World Championship-winning junior squad

DURING the big events in the DTL calendar, Northern Ireland’s shooters often hit the headlines with regard to winning prizes and the recent Home International, European and World Championships were no different.

Held at the Mid-Wales Shooting Centre, these events are among the biggest on the DTL circuit with shooters making the trip from all over the world to compete for the top prizes.

The NI senior squad at their European Championship runners-up prizegiving.

The NI senior squad at their European Championship runners-up prizegiving.

The Home Internationals competition was the first on the schedule with shooters from Great Britain and Ireland going head-to-head in their respective teams, with shooters from Wales, Scotland, England, Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland taking part in the senior, junior, ladies and veterans categories.

The senior category, which saw 25 shooters from each country compete, saw the Northern Ireland team finish fourth, a decent result overall.

However it was the junior team, featuring local shooters such as Aaron McDowell, Andrew Charleton, Damien Corvan and David and Mark Henning, who took the headlines, winning the junior section of the competition by seven points.

David Henning was in the individual silverware too, winning the Reynolds Cup for overall junior high gun. Better yet, this was not to be their only success during their stay in Wales.

The successful senior squad.

The successful senior squad.

Along with the Home International competition the individual British Open championship was also to be shot for. There was to be more success for our local shooters here too as Aaron Smyth came out overall winner, an incredible achievement for the new British Champion. Aaron also claimed the Rathfriland Cup, as Northern Ireland’s high gun.

The juniors again made the headlines, new cap Mark Henning winning C Class, while David Henning claimed the Jonathan Millar cup, for highest Northern Ireland junior over the two days.

The European Championships were up next with similar teams in action once again, yet this competition spanned across Europe’s best shooters, making for tougher competition. However the Northern Ireland shooters were at it again, as the senior team finished as overall runners-up, claiming silver medals.

The veteran squad were in the silverware too, claiming third place, and bronze medals.

The climax to the weekend saw the World Championships and arguably the best result of the lot. Northern Ireland’s junior team continued their dominance to come away as World Champions for 2012, a fantastic result.

Credit must also go to the senior squad, who finished third in their category too, taking the bronze medal.

Overall it was a successful trip across the water for the Northern Ireland DTL team with the junior team in particular excelling. All of the shooters who made the trip will have enjoyed what was often a tense but exciting few days, and the desire for more success will surely drive them on for next years’ competitions.