BFTA Grand Prix 7 NEFTA @ Emley Moor
BFTA Grand Prix 7 NEFTA @ Emley Moor
It seems competition and pride are at every level of FT these days. Beyond the shooting itself, each region and club is seemingly looking for the limelight. So when one of the top region's clubs lost its ground it didn't waste any time, it found a new one, and got to work to make it a fine demonstration of what the region to offer.
In a few months from opening, Emley have transformed a wood into a full blown FT course, with ample parking, plinking & zero range, including a clubhouse with catering.
The course itself lays below a thumb shaped plateau. Around all 270 degrees it provides shelter from the elements above, but varying amounts of shelter from the breeze. You have to factor in that your shooting with a hill closeby, and watching for any windsign became the trick... I was treated to an early miss on my first target, over doing it... my partners under did it, and they had the same result as me...hmm. I went my way, they went theirs and although our approaches differed all over the course, the results didn't, hinting at the need to be as certain as possible of what you were dealing with.
As the course turned into the wind the length extended, and then the fun really began as the angles changed along with the elevation. I broke the seal on going out of the kill before the turn as I watched a 4.48 mozzy shave the side of the kill that a 4.52 would have clipped. Later on I knew I was again pushing my luck when sparks flew going as the pellet went into the longer kneeler's kill. The last lane had a full wack super-high target in a completely different direction to the rest of the course, just to really push you. But the course setters had been kind, and it wasn't all out there everywhere, and people were still capable of missing the close ones anyway.
The AM session was lead by Andy Gillott, just pipping Dave Penman who lost one on his last lane. John Costello however came in strong from the afternoon to equal Andy for joint honours on 48. Across the other grades there were many other strong scores posted to keep the PM visitors busy. Ashley Holloway and Steve Wilson held onto their morning's A grade winning scores and Antony Johnson stood 2 shots clear of a wet lonely shoot out for 2nd place in B. Jack Harris blew most of the field away with a class busting 45 to win C grade, whilst Nick Murphy just narrowly missed an overall win with 47 in the Piston class using his new Pro-sport. Dan Gillmartin stole the SFT class with 36, and also the top raffle prize of £100! The 2nd £50 prize was won by Dave Jowett. Honorable mention goes to Kev Sayers who generously ducked out of the raffle by missing the 20yd full size kill, the only shooter kind enough to do so...!
Walther set Air Arms on the back foot by winning this GP, leaving AA with work to do, and giving Walther the opportunity of sealing it next GP... but it doesn't really stop with the teams... Andy Gillott has lead early this year and, despite a hickup on GP2, has put in strong top 5+ scores each GP and set the benchmark for others to try and reach. Even then, he could raise the bar further. John Costello is close behind, and it's all to play for, but there are other dark horses at play, Calpin, Osborne and Penman all could keep Andy's nails short.
A & C grade will be down to the wire, and Simon Higgins shouldn't be comfortable in B either. Silhouettes is just silly with 4 targets between the top 3. And Piston Class is anyone's guess, but although Brian Samson looks good in SFT, will he get his dream and qualify for the showdown in SFT?
But really the trophies were just the icing on the cake, the real winners were those who turned up on the day and were treated to a superb Emley NEFTA GP. Good stuff all.
So next it's on to Nelson for the WAFTA GP, and I know the Welsh are very keen to make this a round they can be proud of. See you there!
The scores full scores are up in the Bfta and Nefta Results section (links below), I didn't get the camera out this time, but I saw a few out there, so hopefully there'll be some pics up.
BFTA/NSRA County Coach
CSFTA Chairman/BFTA Rep