Pro Sporting Spectacular
Alongside our popular 150 Sportrap our 2nd annual pro sporting shoot off took place on the Saturday evening seeing shooters of all abilities taking each other on to win the £500 cash! Let’s see how the event unfolded.
The Sportrap competitions held here at Bywell Shooting Ground always see a good cross section of shooters coming from far and wide to sample some testing clays. Adding something like the pro sporting shoot off to the mix and they all hit the roof with excitement of what could be won. To enter the shoot off raffle tickets were purchased by the hopeful shooters to give them a chance to be in the event. The more tickets they purchased the greater their chance was of taking part.
Numerous tickets were sold before the weekend but on the day entries flooded in thick and fast. The draw was to be taking place in the early afternoon to give the entrants time to compose themselves and set their nerve. Paul announced the draw with his famous cowboy style hat and the names were picked by people who happened to stray near outside the shop front. The 10 who were drawn out to shoot were; Michael Booth, Rachel Twedell, Tony Gradwell, John Wilkinson, Neil Redpath, Robert Lewis, Jed Burn, Murray Thomson, Scott Delay & Paul Henderson. The stage was set for some stiff competition.
The Pro Sporting shoot off is a format we have created over the past two years to encourage some serious competition shooting.Before going any further let’s explain how the whole shoot works. The layout for this has 7 traps numbered 1-7, each one representing the corresponding number of points, with 1 the easiest and 7 the hardest in terms of difficulty. The three types of rounds which are shot are either menu, speed or nomination. The menu round is where each shooter gets full use of the gun on each target and starts on 1 going sequentially up to 7.The speed round really livens things up. On the call of pull target 1 is released and then every 4 seconds the next numerical target is released moving all the way up to 7.It leaves the matter of when to load entirely up to the shooter and can they handle the pressure of the next target coming quickly. The nomination round sees 8 pairs of targets shot in total by each shooter, 4 simultaneous and 4 report each.The choice of what traps and therefore points is down to the shooter. This can either make or break a score as the shooter can risk the high points or play it steady with lower or medium points and build a score from there. Of course alongside all of this our very own John Henry is on the microphone with live commentary, which can either be encouraging or off-putting…depending on who is shooting of course.
So with the 10 shooters ready to go the menu round was all set to start. As the shooters were going through it was soon apparent which targets were becoming a problem. The number 5, as a looping rabbit, proved a challenge as well as the number 6 as a long crosser. The number 7 target was also a real test of technique and nerve. The 90 foot high tower was quartering away at a big distance so hitting this was an achievement in itself. Out of the first round it was only shot twice. The nerves and pressure were high and after the first round comprising of a menu & speed round it was narrowed down to 4 for the semi-final. They were Murray Thomson, John Wilkinson, Jed Burn & Scott Delay so it was good to see some locals with real talent getting to this stage. The pressure began to heat up with another shot at the speed round. Jed kicked it off and put a good solid score in managing to hit both the 5 & 6 as well as the lower numbers. John was up next and put a sensational score in shooting all targets except the number 5.Murray and Scott both followed and Murray managed to a great score with Scott unfortunately buckling under the pressure and it was Murray vs John for the super Final. It was all up for grabs for the final round!
The nomination round was what it all came down to for the final. Murray managed to take an early lead as it looked as though John had no answer. Murray was going steady shooting 4’s, 5’s & 6’s varying it. John knew he had to pull it out the bag and decided to go large and 6 & 7 was his chance to claw back some points. He managed to find them quickly and before we knew it, he was only trailing Murray be a handful of points. Murray then made a rare mistake putting it all on John to try and take the lead. A move he may have regretted but he decided to switch from the 6 & 7 to lower value targets just to make certain. This would prove to be fatal as he went on to drop some serious points when he could well have walked away with a total of 13 as he had done on the previous 2 pairs. Murray then went on to shoot his medium value targets to make the final pair and win the shoot, with a thoroughly well-deserved victory. He was supposed to be dashing away on holiday but managed to just stay for the shoot off, so what a way to start with winning the £500.
The pro Sporting shoot off format was born last year as we really wanted to give the shooters something totally different to anything else they have shot and to enjoy it as a summer spectacle. The high gun prize last year was £250 and we doubled this to £500 for 2019!Bywell Shooting Ground have donated heavily to this cash prize topping this up from the money from the raffle ticket sales. We will be looking to carry it forward next year and maybe tweak things to create an even more exhilarating format. You never know it could be you up in front of that crowd next year… Just make sure you have plenty of tickets!