Halloween weekend saw the Edinburgh University Rifle Club travel up to Aberdeen to compete in the first two events of the Scottish Student Sport rifle Grand Prix series.
After finishing last season’s series in second place after losing a tiebreak to Glasgow, hopes were high that Edinburgh could go one better this season.
With an influx of talented new shooters this year and a return to form for some of last season’s team, Edinburgh looked to have the strongest team on paper and results across the weekend bore this out.
Saturday saw the five competing universities – Edinburgh, Glasgow, St Andrews, RGU and Aberdeen – battle it out for the Aberdeen leg of the Grand Prix series. Following some consistently spectacular shooting, Edinburgh swept the team events in some style.
The team of eight, team of four and the Ladies team of three all won their matches convincingly, with the team of eight recording a score of 1535/1600, the best seen in a Scottish Student Sport event for over four years.
Incredibly the B team in the fours event actually outscored the other university A teams, a rare feat in such a competitive environment. Meanwhile, in the pairs competition, Rory MacLeod and Chris Gray took 1st place by a narrow 3 points from the second Edinburgh pair.
A number of brilliant individual performances also led to podium places for several of EURC’s shooters. Bryony Fraser-Burn, competing in her first university shoot, shot an excellent 195/200 to finish 2nd in the individual A Class, closely followed by club captain Gray in 3rd with a score of 194/200.
In B Class, EURC almost managed to sweep the podium spots with James Gutteridge, Lara Muttiah and Vicky Carter taking 2nd, 3rd and 4th place respectively. A special mention must go to Holly Bunn, shooting in her first ever competitive rifle match, who managed to emerge victorious in the Novice category, showing great promise for the future.
Sunday saw the club achieve equal success at the RGU Grand Prix event. Once again the team of eight, team of four and Ladies team of three managed to win their matches by a comfortable margin. Remarkably the team of eight equalled their score from the previous day, setting a deeply promising precedent for the rest of the season.
The B team of four scored highly and were only outscored by their own A team and the A team from RGU. After some excellent scoring across the pairs event, James and Daniel Gutteridge were narrowly knocked back into 4th place with Gray and MacLeod also placing amongst the points after losing a tiebreak to their teammates to finish in 5th.
Once more, Edinburgh’s shooters were hugely successful across the individual events. In A Class, Nikki Sammels shot a magnificent 196/200 and was only beaten back into 2nd place by a spectacular performance from a former Scottish national junior champion.
Meanwhile in B Class, James Gutteridge was once again 2nd and Carter improved on her Saturday performance by one place to finish a very creditable 3rd place.
Overall, the weekend was a great success for the rifle club. With several impressive individual performances as well as a very impressive collective team performance, EURC appear well set for the remainder of the Scottish Student Sport season. Hopefully they can carry their form into the Edinburgh leg of the Grand Prix series on November 14 as well as the British Universities qualifiers which will be coming up shortly after.
Image courtesy of EURC