On Saturday 10 of March the annual Merchistonian Clay and Rifle competition took place against pupils.
We kicked off early at Cluny Clays in Fife on a very wet morning but both pupils and Merchistonians were all very keen to get the days challenge underway. Some 11 Merchistonians and 15 boys were shooting.
The Merchistonian team were determined that this was going to be a victorious day for them after winning at the clays last year but being defeated in the rifle match.
The clay match ended in the Merchistonians narrowly winning by 17 clays after we took the top 10 scores. Top guns were Iain Brechin (79-84) for the Merchistonians with 41 ex 50 and James L for the pupils with a credible 40 ex 50.
After a slow journey back over the bridge we made it just in time for a very welcome school lunch and then straight down to the Miller Range for the second half and the long awaited rifle match.
Tom Diggle (08-16) was unable to be with us on the day due to other shooting commitments but we were allowed to use 2 from 3 cards that he had shot earlier. Merchistonians had 10 shooters all with various skill levels (some had not picked up a rifle for 25+ years) so some off our better shots shot 2 or 3 times but everyone had a go regardless of ability.
The best 16 cards were used from each team and the school shot very well with both Bertie & James G setting a high standard which was great to see. The Merchistonians eventually came out as winners by 24 points with Tom Diggle being our top shot. Considering it was out of 1,600 it was close.
This was the first time that the Merchistonians had won the rifle match for a few years so all were very pleased. To end a great day, a few of us headed into town to reminisce about shots lost and “if onlys” over a great curry and a few beers.
From a selfish viewpoint it was great to shoot against my eldest son in both matches and we tied in the clays but I beat him in the rifle match.
Richard Dodds ‘86