The PSRA Hammond Cup was the only National shooting competition to run this term and unfortunately our current run of being the holders since Spring Term 2020 has come to an end. Last time we lost the trophy it took us 2 valiant efforts and success came on the 3rd occasion to win it back; hopefully we can bounce back and regain the Cup quicker this time.

NBS Rifle Club’s results in the competition was not a surprise as the consistency in the boys shooting this term has been a concern. it has been variable to say the least. When the official competition targets came out for the first time it appears our ‘sang froid’ as a proficient shooting side went out the proverbial window. It is unclear how much the lack of shooting over the last 6 months is a factor nevertheless the constraints were the same for all schools so it appears they have managed the situation better. Perhaps as a coach I should have scheduled the School’s inter-company Everitt Cup competition before the Hammond Cup deadline so that the boys had a bit of competition experience before the Hammond. Something to consider when scheduling again if competitions are limited once more.

The Hammond Cup results are as follows:

1 Feltonfleet A 378 (ex 400)
2 St Andrew’s A 372
3 Sedburgh Prep B 359
4= Sedburgh Prep A 358
4= St Andrew’s C 358
6 Ashfold B 348
7 The New Beacon B 347
9 The New Beacon D 342
12 The New Beacon A 339
13 The New Beacon C 338

NBSRC Team D (Beretta)
Jason R (Capt) – 90
Ben W – 90
Xavier G – 93 (New Beacon’s Top scorer in this competition)
Jacob A – 88 (Deserves a commendation as this performance marked his return to shooting after injuring his arm)

As the results show the best scoring New Beacon School Team score was over 30 points behind the winning team. Incidentally, our last Hammond Cup score in the Summer term was 379. Nevertheless, our lowest scoring team still beat some noteworthy schools so that should provide a good sense of perspective whilst having and maintaining the high expectations for our teams.

The inconsistency in the boys shooting for the competition was so widespread that even with 100% hindsight on team selection the maximum score would have been only 369 good enough for 3rd place this term.

The boys were understandably disappointed afterwards as several boys had excelled themselves with numerous personal best scores and very high scores during the 3 weeks of PSRA Proficiency exams (prior to the Hammond Cup) during which 2 boys attained the highest Mastershot rank; averaging in excess of 95 points per target on 3 consecutive occasions & 9 boys in the NBS shooting club shooting personal bests of 95 and over this term.

With the shooting year now behind us we very much look forward to welcoming the Year 6 boys and Year 7 boys who missed out the whole of last year due to the restrictions on bubbles mixing.

We also very much hope that we can plan away school matches for the teams in 2021-2022 and resume coaching visits to Sevenoaks School’s rifle range along with the other fun events organised such as the HM’s 1st VIII vs boys and the parents’ vs boys’ competitions.

Mr Prongue