The weekend of the 14th and 15th of March saw 49 shooters converge on Lyndhurst to enjoy an excellent couple of days of high class competition in almost perfect autumn weather. Recent rains saw the range looking in pristine condition and a shower of rain on Saturday morning, halfway through the first range at 500 yards was also pleasantly received – well at least by the landholder anyway!
It was a high class field that turned out, especially in TR, with two thirds of the current NSW State Team turning out in their preparations for the upcoming National Teams Championships in June. F Class was similarly well endowed with in form hot shots and the results over the ensuing two days left no doubt you had to be on your game to get in the money.
Jim Bailey continued to prove why he is one of the most highly rated marksmen in Australia, putting on a faultless performance for the weekend in conditions that were far from a millpond. Returning the only perfect score of the weekend of 300.43 to go with his victory in 2019 – I’m starting to realise I’m buying almost as many of these excellent Benchmark barrels for Jim as Jim is buying for Jim!! He was followed closely by Matt Shepherd – who is continuing to impress with 299.42 and Ben Emms – much gnashing of teeth – 298.42. B Grade in Target Rifle saw local Lyndhurst boy Tom “The Tank” Hickman get the money, 286.26 in a good tussle with Bruce Bulford of Hornsby RSL 284.22.
F Class Standard was compressed in to one grade only, due to overall numbers. There was, however, a very close competition with medallions shared to a number of points of the compass. Ralph Garlick of Lyndhurst continues to prove to be hard to toss on his home turf taking the weekend with 353.29, well clear of Geoff Willis of Bathurst on 247.27 and John Kent from Fashions Mount with 246.28
F Open again went to the local devotees with Keith Hills putting in what was an absolutely faultless display – including a 60.9 at 600 yards in what I doubt took 60 seconds from start to finish. Say what you want about delays and electronic targets and blah blah blah but speed shooting like that is a skill in itself and that indeed was an outstanding display of it. Keith took out the weekend, dropping only one point for the entire weekend finishing on 259.41, ahead of Garry Trudgett of Cootamundra on 353.26 and John Leask from North Sydney with 352.32.
As always these weekends don’t just magically get up and run themselves. Like just about all clubs there is a dedicated and enthusiastic group of volunteers who just get in and get the job done. Reg Bennett, Gay Emms and my darling wife Mandy Emms were the back bone this year, without which, a shot would barely have been fired. As always, thank you all, we would be sunk without you!
The field from far and wide enjoyed a great weekend of competition and fellowship – something for which Lyndhurst has become renowned. With the way this COVID19 situation has spiralled over the few days since, let’s all hope that the situation soon comes under control and our lives can return to normal. I fear we may not be doing too much travelling to ranges across the country for some time to come. We pray all our shooting friends and their families stay safe throughout this challenging time.