|NSW Champion Results||City v Country Results||DRA Teams Results|
|Ben Picton Senior Champion||Bronte Thurtell Junior Champion|
With fine weather and high expectations the City Country weekend began with the NSW Champion competition.
This year with a break from tradition it started at 500m to accommodate the electronic targets. A light breeze coming from the SSW and forecast clear after a week of drenching rain a high scoring competition was expected.
Ben Emms was first to lay claim to the title with a very nice 50.8 at 500 but after the second range most shooters had dropped a point or more leaving six of the ten seniors still vying for the lead. At 700m though the breeze was light it was coming over the right shoulder and the odd gust or twitch was set to cause problems. After 700m Aubrey Sonnenberg and Tony Moon were tied on 99.14 and they had a 1 point lead over four others a point further in arrears. At 800m the wind really started changing and quite a bit of head shaking took place when the sighters were fired. With inners and worse becoming the norm it became a case of minimising the damage with 48's being the highest score. Ben Picton timed his run perfectly to finish with 196.17 with a badly needed centre to defeat Graham Crowe on 196.116 with Aubrey Sonnenberg a point further back on 195.15.
Not to be outdone however an interesting though a one sided competition was going on in the junior ranks with Bronte Thurtell clearly taking out the U25 competition with a 198.12. A very credible effort that left all shaking their heads in admiration as she was clearly the best shot on the day in all grades. Robert Jenkins and Howard Sweeger's were left to fill the remaining places.
In the U18 competition Alex Davies obviously was taking notice of his father’s pre match briefing to finish with 190.12 two points in front of Chris Schwebel on 188.13 and Lindell Thurtell third with 187.12.
Down the range the F Class competitors also had an interesting competition as they fought to keep their groups centred. Jeff Eppleston and Ralph Garlick swapped the lead until the end with Jeff finishing the best with a 220.5 from Ralph on 217.9 then Grant Smith on 213.9
As always this was going to be a tight competition with City fielding four teams however once again they were to be denied the spoils from a very strong Central West team who started well and came home strong to finish 3 points in front of the Mid Nth Coast and Nth Shore coming home in third place one point further back
CITY v COUNTRY
This competition more than rivals the State of Origin league match with normal mates becoming arch and determined rivals during this match.
Unlike previous year’s Country conceded the first range thanks to a shot on the wrong target but despite this setback Country members made up the slack to finish one down but a phenomenal 22 centres in front. Hopefully this had the desired unsettling effect on City as Country took a 10 point lead going into 700 m where it was extended to 26.
Mention must be made of the high scores being achieved however none better than Tim Walter who was coached to a perfect 50.10 by new City coach Neil Gibbons at 500 metres.
At 800m it was a case of "steady as she goes" as City fought vainly to make up the deficit. Country emerged victorious again this year by 24 points and 21 central bulls. City retained some dignity by having the top scoring shooters which were Angus Bell and Evan Jones both on 200.25
In the U25 match Country shot well to defeat the City Team by 13 points. Best effort of the day went to Brendan Parkin's from Country with a 198.26.
The F Class event was also won by Country this time with a very good margin some 44 points and 27 X’s. Despite the high score both teams fought well and some good scores recorded. Highest score for the day wet to John Brook from Country with a 230.13.
This year the NSW Rifle Association expanded the competition to include the F Open Class. Those that attended with their “super guns” found conditions just as trying as their fellow shooters up range using less sophisticated gear and this was reflected in the score albeit the F Open crew had a slight advantage. Best of the day was Steve Rigby with 231.16 for City.
Congratulations and a very large thank you to the MDRA for excellent weather and the efforts they put in setting up the electronic targets and catering for the masses. This event is now one of the best on the calendar and definitely one not to miss next year.