On Tuesday, 1 March 2022,  The New Beacon 1st IV along with (3 more NBS Rifle Club teams) travelled away to St Andrew’s Prep (Eastbourne) to compete in the first shoulder to shoulder school match in two years.

After the hiatus, the experience the 16 boys got competing away was enormous & invaluable and it was another significant step in the club’s return to normal competition. Despite preparing the boys as best as possible for their first ever away match; an unfamiliar range (indoors) with slight differences in processes, routine and range instructions is always something the vast majority of boys struggle to adapt to. The unfamiliarity and the stress of competing is the only reason I am using to explain a few unexpected & surprising technical errors along with the boys being generally unsatisfied with their personal scores. More experience in travelling away to compete is the best way to improve; to that end next term there is a planned visit to Tonbridge School in May to use their range.

As expected the competition the NB boys faced in the school match from St Andrew’s Prep was going to be strong but well matched. On this occasion St Andrew’s shot better targets than we did. There were some excellent performances on the day with some very high scores but New Beacon’s consistency throughout the team was not quite there.

The three other NBSRC teams competed on the day in the Hammond Cup (a PSRA National Competition). Unfortunately, on this occasion neither of the 3 other NBSRC teams outscored our own 1st IV side; which is actually very unusual!

Even so, had our top 4 highest scorers on the day been selected in the same team New Beacon would have been successful against St Andrew’s Prep and laid down a strong performance to lay a claim to regaining the Hammond Cup.

The top 4 High Scores were as follows:

Bradley V – 96
Federico D – 94
Jamie R – 93
Tom S – 92

1st IV New Beacon Shooting Team & Team Remington

William S, Federico D, Charles M, Oliver P – 363

Team Beretta

Patrick M, Jamie R, Arthur M, Tom S – 356

Team Winchester

Ignacio M, Sidney H, Luke H, Bradley V – 347

Team Browning

Hugh S, Barnes R, William Z, Ryley J – 344

Res: Ethan M (did not travel).

Our attention next week turns to the fiercely competitive Inter-company competition for the Everitt Cup with Junior, Inter & Senior Pairs from each company forming a team with the highest combined score the winner.