Five out of Six Roseville Members on the podium at Cessnock OPM 2024

Ross and Adrian headed north on Saturday the 18th of May to get some practice on the Cessnock Range at 600 yards ahead of the Open Prize meeting the next day.   The A-Van was hitched up and as they headed north the weather looked threatening around Hornsby – with showers forecast – but improved slightly as we headed further north.   The truck and van pulled into Cessnock Range just on midday after a smooth 90 minute drive, and after the A-Van was set-up and connected to mains power – it was time to make ourselves known to the duty Club and register for the Saturday afternoon practice.

It was cold and overcast – and while it did not rain – it was some of the most wicked wind ever seen on Cessnock range.   Some friendly faces from West Wallsend Rifle Club welcomed Ross and Adrian, and we duly fell in to shoot with them on target 5.

In the first practice match – Adrian shot a 69.5 over 15 shots, and Ross posted a 48.1 over 10 shots.   The wind was gusting from 9 oçlock but would quickly stall and come in from 1:30 so knowing your zero and firing quickly on the conditions you favoured was the order of the day.

At the second practice match – Adrian posted a 67.1 after cutting two bulls eye sighters and finishing on a maggot and a bull.  69 in the conditions would have been a credible score – with Duncan Davies posting a 68.4 – proof of just how challenging the conditions were.   Ross posted a 43 getting totally tossed around by the wind.

After being challenged by the conditions Ross and Adrian were happy to get their elevations right for the comp the following day, and pleased to not be troubled by any rain.  After shooting – it was time to relax and think about heading into to town for dinner at the local pub – always a favourite activity on shooting trips.   Ross and Adrian were back at the campsite for an early night.

Shooting on HEXTA Targets – Skye gets ready to compete in the first match at 500 yards

The next morning was a completely different weekend – with light winds, sunshine and a decidedly warmer temperature.   The wind was a gentle 4-6 miles per hour coming from 1 oçlock and sometimes straightening a bit to 2-2:30.  Fellow Roseville members Nigel, Skye, Alan and Eva entered the fray for the Cessnock OPM.   It was a different format this year with two 15 shot matches only – one at 500 yards and one at 600 yards.

The curse of the cross-fire struck Adrian at the first match – when he duly put a super-centre on target 6 for his 11th shot.  His day was done with a 66.7.  Nigel fared well with a 73.5 (2nd in TRB) posting the highest TR score across the Roseville contingent in the first match with Alan posting a 72.4 (3rd in TRA) and Skye posting a 71.5 (2nd in TRC).

In FTR – Eva was one point behind Gary Faulkner with an 88.4 to come second, and in FSB Ross came 3rd with a 73.2 after some trouble finding the target due to his scope being knocked off zero overnight.

At the second Match the ground warmed up, the sun was brighter and there was a bit of mirage to read so having your spotting scope handy was imperative.   Adrian used the mirage to hold the centre bull and he posted a 73.11 (2nd in TRA).  Alan posted a 73.7 (3rd in TRA) as did Nigel (2nd in TRB).  Skye was unlucky not to win the match in TRC posting an equal 73.3 with the winner – but beaten on countback.

Alan takes Number 3 badge in TRA

Nigel takes out number 2 badge in TRB

Skye takes out number 2 badge in TRC – from a field of 22 shooters!

In FTR – Eva could not get around Gary and came second with a 86.4 while Ross came 3rd in FSB with a 75.2.

At the end of the comp – 5 out of our 6 Roseville competitors finished on the podium in the Aggregate.   Special mention was for Skye’s effort in TRC – coming 2nd in a field of 22 shooters!

Ross was pleasantly surprised to take out 3rd Badge in FSB

Eva takes 2nd badge in FTR

The Cessnock shoot was very well run, and all Roseville members had a pleasant day out in the sunshine.  We are all determined to compete next year and move up a step or two on the podium.  Go Roseville!

P.S. Cessnock has HEXTA targets so you can see the full competition results here:

Adrian Bonanni

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