Martin bang on target at Bisley

Joseph Bulmer

Bideford Rifle Club member Martin Morgan has had his best-ever Bisley competition.

Taking part in the week-long national meeting, he gained promotion from A Class to the prestigious X Class , for which only the top 100 in the country qualify, and also shot through two qualifying rounds to reach the final of the British Long Range Championship. He finished in 11th place out of 20 shooters, beating some of the best in the country.

Martin also top-scored for Devon in both the Inter County matches and was reserve for a victorious England team in the Home Countries match against Scotland, Ireland, Wales and Jersey.

He also won the Centipede Cup, which is open to all treasurers and secretaries of clubs all over the country.

Martin was one of a dozen Bideford members who took part in the meeting.

Michael Coombs, Oli Bailey-Coombs, Yvonne Hoile and Ben Morgan shot in the opening weekend aggregate competition with varying degrees of success and then Ben and Oli were joined by Adie Pile in the final of the Eley competition, for which they had qualified through two postal stages last winter.

Ben finished in 11th out of 20 in Class E and Oli was 7th in Class D, while Adie tied for third place in Class C, but was just edged into fourth on the countback principle.

Then came a series of competitions which together made up the week aggregate.

Martin Morgan was placed third in Class A in the 40 shots at 50 metres and eighth in 40 shots at 100yards, with clubmate Ann Travis 9th in Class B. Martin then finished second in the 60 shots at 50-metres and despite a weaker result in 60 shots at 100 yards in appalling conditions, his earlier scores stood him in good stead and he finished in 9th in his class, so gaining automatic promotion to Class X next year. He will also get an invitation to take part in the trials for the international Dewar match against the USA next year.

It was no surprise that he was picked for the Devon teams in the two Inter County matches shot in the middle of the Week. In the 50-metre team event, he had joint top score on 590 ex 600 and he again top-scored in the County Sextette (20 shots at 50-metres and 20 at 100-yards with 390 ex 400.

Ann Travis was also picked for the Devon team in the women’s 50-metre match, where she scored 568 out of 600.

The week concluded with the British Long Range Championship, in which Martin reached the final 20 and had an excellent shoot at 50-metres to be well in the hunt. Although the 100-yards score was not quite as good it was still enough to put him in 11th place in the British Championship and 9th in the English.

Clubmate Pete Thomson could not find the form which had qualified him to shoot as Devon’s representative in the Champion of Champions event and he finished half-way down the field of 31 with a score of 579 ex 600.