Shooters take aim at NSW Championships

HOME city shooters enjoyed a strong showing at the Sporting Shooters' Association of Australia NSW State Championships for Muzzleloading Shotguns and Black Powder Cannons held in Bathurst over the weekend.

Bathurst's Glenn Barnsley was the standout performer at the event as he claimed overall victory on both the shotgun and cannon events.

It was a great event overall for the home club contingent with Sydney resident, but Bathurst club shooter, Peter Burgess finishing second for the two events and Barnsley's son Shayne scoring the bronze.

Sunday’s wet weather cut the competition short but the club managed to get the majority of events completed over an enjoyable weekend of shooting.

With the last two years of the event not going ahead it was a long-awaited opportunity for shooters from across the state to fight for medals.

VICTORY: Side x Side Championships winner John Newton with Bathurst Rifle Club president Les Aberley. Photo: CHRIS SEABROOK

VICTORY: Side x Side Championships winner John Newton with Bathurst Rifle Club president Les Aberley. Photo: CHRIS SEABROOK

Competitors got to take part in three separate shotgun events – caplock, flintlock and field – as well as the highly-anticipated cannon event.

Bathurst’s Black Powder Captain Shayne Barnsley said it was a strong showing from the home city crew, who can’t wait to try bring the event back in 12 months’ time.

“We cleaned up in the cannons … and dad dominated in the shotgun. He placed in all the events and that allowed him to take the top prize,” he said.

“I’ll be meeting with the committee and my aim is to have it out here again. While we were down on numbers we did have a few people come up to have a look at what was going on, which was great to see.

“Everyone who showed up there to shoot I've been shooting against for probably 10 years, some even longer, and we’re all having a laugh between shots. It was great fun.”

Barnsley hopes the event can grow as the years go by.

“It all ran really smoothly. We had our few teething problems but we expected those going in,” he said.

“Our numbers we’re probably down a little on what we expected but we know what we can do to fix that.”

The club will look at upgrading its camping facilities in order to allow more people to take part for any future State Championships that take place.

Meanwhile, in a busy weekend of shooting for the city, Bathurst’s Side x Side Championships were also held at the rifle club.

Manly’s John Newton took out the overall title after several years of coming close to a victory.

Newton enjoyed an accurate day in tough conditions, hitting 71 of his 75 targets to claim the win.

“I’ve never won this before. I’ve won a few in Sydney before but never in Bathurst,” he said.

“I really love shooting in Bathurst. They’re a top bunch of guys.”

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