DTL Weekend at Bywell Shooting Ground
Jim Doherty retained the Dougall Memorial Trophy for a third consecutive year, as Michael Turner was crowned English Open champion for the second year running at an action-packed Down the Line Weekend at Bywell Shooting Ground.
Doherty, who also recorded the highest score over the three days, is only the second person ever to win the historic trophy three years in succession. BW Bailey is the only other person to have done it, having won it from 1964 to 1967.
The weekend kicked off on Friday with the Sponsored DTL competition. Thanks to the kind sponsorship of Blaser and Eley Hawk, there was a whole raft of prizes on offer for the winners – including a Blaser Travel Bag for the overall High Gun. After a superb day of shooting, Shane Smith was crowned champion after shooting a perfect round. Rob Hall beat Lee Kirby in a shoot off to take the Runner Up place, whilst Leanne Powell was crowned Ladies champion. George Lewis beat Haydn Coley to take the Junior crown, with Gerald Sweet winning the Veterans and promising young shooter Izzy Thurnell beating off the competition to win the Colts.
The Dougall Memorial DTL was staged for the 120th time on the Saturday. First established in 1896, the famous trophy is one of the oldest in the sport and the level of shooting skill on show throughout the day was truly worthy of the momentous event. Four shooters shot a perfect 100/300 to create a tantalising tie at the top of the leader board, requiring a shoot off to decide the winner. Fittingly, given the landmark occasion, it was never going to be that simple. Jim Doherty, Ian Mullarkey and Austin Coxhead all shot a perfect shoot off score to leave us requiring another shoot off to crown the champion. The ability that Doherty showed, however, was relentless. Once more he didn’t drop a target, meaning a third successive Dougall Memorial victory for the Irishman, in front of Mullarkey who dropped just one agonising shot en route to the Runner Up position, leaving Coxhead a couple of shots behind in third.
Emma Holden claimed the Ladies High Gun just ahead of Leanne Powell, with Dave Hinchliffe and Richard Tinson winning the Veterans and Junior categories respectively. Lucy Hall beat Izzy Thurnell after a perfect score in a shoot off to take victory in the Colts, whilst also picking up the C Class victory and third in Ladies – a hugely impressive showing from the 12-year-old. The Minions – made up of Lee Kirby, Chris Moule, Paul and Michael Turner and Jason Price – won the Five Man Team category with a combined score of 1477 ex 1500, whilst Bill Maclennan was crowned Disabled Standing champion.
The excellent weekend of shooting was brought to an immense conclusion on Sunday with the English Open DTL. Once again there was some wonderful displays of shooting across the board, on a day where we saw three more perfect scores. Martin Crow, Mullarkey and Michael Turner all turned in a 100/300 to leave us require a shoot off for the second day running. It was Turner who came on top, shooting a perfect 25/75 to leave Mullarkey in second place for the second day in a row. Kath Bright was the English Open Ladies High Gun after a shoot off, Joe Booth won the Juniors with Tony Dore taking the Veterans crown. Following two third place finishes on the previous days, Joshua Brazier rounded off an excellent weekend for him personally by taking the Colt High Gun.
Overall, it was a hugely successful weekend, including an enjoyable party on Saturday night to celebrate the Dougall Memorial’s 120th birthday. Our thanks must go to Bywell Shooting Ground for being incredible hosts, as well as Blaser and Eley Hawk for their sponsorship and support of the weekend.