Sports reports: Murray Bridge rifle shooters win at district championship

Plus Lutheran Red defeats Jervois in Lower Murray hard court tennis' junior grand final for 2021.

This post was contributed by Murray Bridge Rifle Club’s Daniel Irvine and the Lower Murray Hardcourt Tennis Association’s Melissa Denman.

Aggregate winners on Saturday were Rob Paech, Richard McInnes, Paul Janzo, Adrian Conlon, Frank Marshall and Andrew Heard. Photo: Daniel Irvine.

This past Saturday, 13 members from the Murray Bridge Rifle Club joined 14 members of the Mount Barker and District Rifle Club as they hosted the first stage of the No. 2 (Southern) District Rifle Association Championship over 700 and 600 yards in what were described as hot and sweaty conditions.

The championship is designed to determine the DRA’s representatives in each discipline at the State Rifle Association’s Champion of Champions competition.

This year a new class was represented, the F-sporting and hunting class, which has yet to be implemented in Murray Bridge.

Mount Barker’s range is nestled in the hills between Mount Barker and Echunga and spans a gully, with firing points rising on the south side and the targets situated part way up the opposite hill to the north.

This unique set-up allows for some very interesting wind conditions, as things change across different altitudes, and means that as you look out from 700 or 600 yards – the range was built before metric ranges became more normal – the dozen or so flags spaced out on each side of the range between you and the targets can all be doing different things.

Saturday’s shoot was no different, with the conditions – which were called “consistently tricky” by DRA president David McDonald – even catching out the locals, especially at the longer range of 700 yards where some very average scores were shot by normally very good shooters.

But, as Nicole Edwards of Murray Bridge pointed out with her 53.01, it certainly helps if you wind the right way.

Not all shooters struggled, however.

Particular standouts in the first round were Murray Bridge shooters Rob Paech in target rifle, who scored a 49.07, and Adrian Conlon in F-open, who shot a 58.04; along with Mount Barker shooter Ryan Yeates, also in F-open, who also scored a 58.03.

At the closer 600 yards, shooters generally seemed to get a better handle on things with many improvements on first-round scores.

Consistent at the top of target rifle again was Paech, who backed up his first round effort with another 49.03 to claim the A-grade aggregate for the day.

Andrew Heard also shot well in the second round scoring a 48.01 to claim the B-grade aggregate by a point from Daniel Irvine.

In F-class standard the B-graders showed the ill-fated and lone A-grader – who had to borrow equipment to qualify – how it was done.

Richard McInnes and Darryl Pink, both of Mount Barker, scored 110 each, but with McInnes scoring an extra centre to give him the win.

Eddie Concannon, from Mount Barker, also rated a mention for his improvement, shooting a 57.03 after a less-than-satisfying 49.00 in the first round.

Conlon’s consistency helped him prevail in F-open, as he shot an impressive 59.06 in the second round to claim the aggregate win by two points from Yeates.

McDonald also made a vast improvement in the second round as he ventured into the open class – although still using his standard rifle – and moved from a 44.01 to 58.01, but was still well off the pace early.

The F-TR and F-SH shooters were all models of consistency for the day with Paul Bothwell of Mount Barker claiming the F-TR aggregate by a single point from Alison Hansen, also of Mount Barker, who, again, was only a single point ahead of Edwards in third.

Paul Janzo took out aggregate honours in F-SH by three points from Loui Burke.

Both clubs will now return to their own individual championships until the next stage of the DRA competition is shot at Murray Bridge in May.

With shooters having to shoot at every round to qualify overall, this means that anything is still possible for the final results.

Celebrating Lutheran Red’s junior premiership are William Phillpott, Brayden Denman and Johnny Phillpott; Alicia and Sophie Jacobs; and Kallan and Bryce Woidt. Photo: Melissa Denman.

Lutherans defeat Jervois in junior tennis grand final

What a day March 13 was for the Lower Murray Hardcourt Tennis Association junior grand final.

We experienced nearly all seasons in one day: wind, rain and sunshine.

Jervois started strong against Lutheran Red, taking out two of the three doubles matches.

Bryce Woidt, for Lutheran Red, was the first to win his singles against Sophie Hicks, 6-4.

Around 10am the rain came, forcing matches to pause.

Jervois was in the lead by three games to Lutheran Red’s two.

Games resumed at 1.30pm after water was cleared from the courts.

Lutheran Red came out strong and proceeded to win all remaining singles matches.

The final score was Lutheran Red 6-44, Jervois 3-36.

Congratulations to Lutheran Red, premiers for 2020-21!

Murray Bridge News is happy to share news, results or photos from sporting clubs throughout Murray Bridge and the surrounding region, free of charge. Email or call 0419 827 124.