THE thaw may be well and truly underway, but it did little to encourage the shooters as Rathfriland Clay Pigeon Club experienced a slow start to the latest 100-bird DTL held at the ground, on Saturday, 30 March.
An early 99/291 from James Connor set the pace,with the shooters vying for the silverware on offer. However, as the day went on, the scores were to falter; Tommy Beattie and John Montgomery amongst the height with 286 scores apiece.
With the afternoon in full swing it looked like there would be several challengers to Jimmy Connor’s 291; Mark McKeown was in top form but dropped numerous targets across his final 25 meaning he had to settle for a score of 98/289. Like McKeown, William Armstrong was impressive too. However, nothing can be guaranteed with DTL shooting and he too fell away towards the end of his final layout, finishing with 97/289.
In the end it was a Rathfriland regular who held his nerve to snatch the silverware from the final squad; Ronald Sloan had looked impressive across the layouts all day and kept his calm to match Connor’s score of 291.
Normally a shoot-off would be required to separate the pair but with Jimmy Connor having shot, and left early, Ronald Sloan was to take the cup back over the Mournes, a fantastic effort.
Of the local shooters, there were some top scores, and places among the prizes too. Ballyvea shooter Davy Megaw had been working hard all day to help with the running of the shoot, but he kept his best for his shooting, posting 98/286 to finish as winner of B class. Rathfriland’s Raymond Graham was also among the prizes in B, finishing second with a score of 96/282. Final class places were as follows;
High Gun & Captain Wright Cup winner – Ronald Sloan
AA 1st– James Connor, 2nd= Mark McKeown, Jason Coffey and William Armstrong
A 1st - R Dick, 2nd – John Montgomery, 3rd – Hubert Gilmore
B 1st – Davy Megaw, 2nd – Raymond Graham, 3rd= Joe Coffey & Gareth Millar
C 1st – David Dallas, 2nd – Graham Thompson