It was a busy weekend for shooting Saturday and Sunday with Murray Bridge Rifle Club members competing in their club competitions on Saturday before heading to Mount Barker rifle range to compete in the No. 2 DRA open prize meeting.
Saturday's competition at the Deed Range in Monarto saw 14 members their skills from 400 metres against I strong and challenging wind blowing hard from the right.
Otherwise, the weather was reasonably pleasant throughout the day, with shooters managing to avoid any rain.
Only one possible was shot for the day and that was by Adrian Conlon in F-Open during the second round, which when coupled with his 58 in the first round was enough to give him the off-rifle win by a point from David McDonald.
David had the edge in the handicap however, winning that award for the day by less than a single point from Adrian.
Frank Marshall topped the Standard shooters for the day with 108 narrowly ahead of Dave Hindmarsh on 107. While Wayne Halliday continued his recent woes, winning the magpie award once more with a single bird.
The best in Target Rifle was a solid pair of 49s by Robert Paech which secured him the off-riffle award by two points from Gordon Harrison who continues his return to form.
Gordon's 96.05 was enough to make him the clear handicap winner for the day. Greg Traeger was ruing his son-in-law's absence when it came to the magpie award, claiming the prize with 2 birds.
The next day saw 41 shooters from around the state turn out to compete for the District Rifle Association's annual OPM, with one range shot from 500 yards and 2 ranges from 600 yards.
Significantly the event was the first time in South Australia, and possibly Australia, where the new Sporting Hunter Class was able to compete at an open event.
The Adelaide Hills weather managed to avoid the threat of any real rain for the day with only patches of drizzle that were not enough to stop shooting broken up by bouts of warming sunshine.
The breeze remained chilly throughout the day as it blew in varying strengths from the left, with many shooters finding they needed more wind on then the flags suggested but were at times caught out by sudden drops.
Competition was close as several possibles were shot on the first range including Bill Naismith in TRA, John Shobbrook and Eddie Kanik in FSA, Ryan Yeates in FO, Lynton Wakefield in FTR, and Adam Talbot and Mark De Laine in the new Sporting Hunter Class.
The difficulty increased at the longer distance in the second round, with Paul Savage in TRA scoring the only possible that round.
Scores improved again in the third round as the day wore on with Robert Paech notching a possible in TRA, John Shobbrook collecting his second in FSA, Bryan Galpin took the lot in FTR, while Mark De Laine got his second in FSH, joined by Paul Janzso.
Overall, the day was considered a wonderful success by all who attended with the hopes of the return to prize meetings and interclub shooting continuing as the threat of COVID-19 gradually becomes more manageable by authorities.
Aggregate winners for the day were Robert Paech in TRA with 147.17, ahead of Paul Savage by 6 centres. Andrew Heard won TRB on 145.10, two points ahead of club mate Gordon Harrison.
A stunning performance from Daniel Nesbitt saw him win TRC by six points from Daniel Irvine with a score of 142.7.
John Shobbrook's consistent performance saw him win FSA with 177.15, two points clear of Eddie Kanik. While in a rare occurrence Darryl Pink won FSB with the same score of 177.15, well ahead of the next three shooters, Jeff Makin, Martin Craig, and Paul Jenkins, all on 167.
In FO, Danny Blackmore won the day with 176.9, only a point ahead of David McDonald and Rohan Carter. Bryan Galpin won FTR by a single centre from Lynton Wakefield, 172.13 to 172.12.
While in the new Sporting Hunter Class the first prize went to Mark De Laine with 149.14, a single point ahead of Paul Janzso.
Full scores for Murray Bridge Rifle Club 400-metre Championship Round:
F-Class: D McDonald (FO) 58.04, 59.01, 117.05 (126.8), A Conlon (FO) 58.03, 60.04, 118.07 (125.9), F Marshall (FS) 53.01, 55.03, 108.04 (120.1), D Hindmarsh (FS) 51.00, 56.05, 107.05 (119.8), M Nesti (FO) 56.01, 57.03, 113.04 (119.2), P Byass (FS) 51.02, 51.00, 102.02 (117.7), P Casley (FS) 51.01, 53.01, 104.02 (116.7), J Cranwell (FO) 52.00, 57.04, 109.04 (116.1), W Halliday (FO) 43.00, 52.02, 95.02 (112.9).
TR: G Harrison 47.03, 49.02, 96.05 [110.0], R Paech 49.03, 49.04, 98.07 [107.3], J Irvine 44.05, 46.02, 90.07 [104.0], G Traeger 45.03, 48.02, 93.05 [103.0], A Heard 45.02, 43.02, 88.04 [96.2].