Essex V East Kent
Saturday 11th March began with a cold but dry morning, as 12 members of the East Kent Masonic clay shooting club began the drive under the Thames to visit our colleagues in Essex.
As is the norm, we meet our opponents at the Black Bull hotel/pub in the village of Fyfield near Ongar, to enjoy a traditional English breakfast with them whilst setting the scene for the competition to come, with banter and encouraging comments.
After taking on board fuel for the ensuing battle, we take the short drive to the shooting ground located in the village and very soon our hosts have us all split into small squads of four or five, ready to begin our annual competition.
We have shot this competition for several years and all of the Essex shooters are well known to us, and are and are very good friends. So much so, that the ten stands bring about some interesting encouragement and ‘helpful advice’.
The clays begin to fly with a very good mixture of targets going away, coming towards us and crossing from left to right and vice versa.
10 stands with 10 clays for each shooter make for a very interesting shoot, with some personal best scores for several of us all.
One feature of this ground is their “High Tower” which is approximately 100 foot high with the clay traps on top, these traps send clays at quite high speeds high in the air and about 50 feet away, which, for this writer, are very difficult to hit but on this occasion I did manage to succeed several times.
Clay shooting represents all possible game targets from all possible angles including those that run along the ground to simulate rabbits and hares, suffice to say we all enjoyed another great day shooting with our Essex brethren.
Back to the club house and our scores were collated, all cards are submitted and the hosts are set to announce them, our high gun (top score) was Steve Ball closely followed by Rob Styles and Gary Cordier.
However, on this occasion our scores were not quite enough and we had to return the winners bragging rights to our Essex colleagues who managed to beat us by five clays. Our annual shoots against Essex are great fun, we visit them early in the year and then they pop over the river to us in September or October so we have several months to ease our bruises and improve our scores, a great day out so thank you Essex.