“Clay Shooting Showdown: East Kent vs. Essex”

Picture of Richard Dixy, a visiting volunteer standing next to the MCF banner

"crossed the Thames also wondering what the weather gods were to send their way"

having enjoyed another great day of shooting with our colleagues from across the Thames

On a rainy and blustery Saturday, the 6th of April, two formidable provincial clay shooting teams converged at the Hawley shooting ground near Dartford. As we embarked on this annual event, a hint of trepidation lingered in the air, fueled by uncertainty about the weather. Nine steadfast souls from East Kent made their way, while an additional nine crossed the Thames, all pondering what the weather gods had in store. However, our collective concerns dissipated as the sun emerged, casting a warm glow and elevating the day to one of the brightest and warmest this year.

Soon, familiar banter flowed among us—the customary prelude to such gatherings. We split into our respective squads and navigated the charming expanse of this compact shooting ground. The event unfolded across ten stands, each challenging us with ten clays per person. The gusting wind added an exhilarating twist, resulting in a mix of impressive scores and a few humbling moments. Essex and East Kent share a tradition of two arranged shoots annually, with reciprocal visits in April and September. Historically, the honors have been evenly distributed, but this time, victory smiled upon our visitors.

As the shooting concluded, we gathered over steaming cups of tea and coffee. The scoring method involved selecting the three highest scores from each team, summing them up, and naturally declaring the highest total as the winner. With 209 clays against 198, our guests emerged triumphant, reigniting good-natured banter. Bid farewell to our intrepid band of Essex shooters, the sun still gracing the scene. Another memorable day of camaraderie and marksmanship shared with colleagues from across the Thames—a toast to our next encounter!

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