Austin Coxhead Crowned English Open DTL Champion
A WEEKEND OF closely run and fiercely competitive events ended in success for Austin Coxhead as he was crowned English Open champion on Sunday afternoon at the DTL Weekend at Bywell Shooting Ground.
Heading into the weekend all eyes were on Jim Doherty as he set on his quest to win the prestigious Dougall Memorial Trophy for the fourth consecutive year. Michael Turner was also looking to complete his own hat-trick of victories in the English Open. Though as the saying goes "all good things eventually come to an end" and that was the case for both Doherty and Turner this year.
The Sponsored DTL event kicked the weekend off on the Friday. Thanks to the support from Eley Hawk there were cartridges on offer for all Class and Category winners, along with cash for the top three in each Class.
Overcast skies greeted the first shooters of the day as they chased the perfect 100/300. Austin Coxhead and Phil Morgan posted the top score both shooting 100/299. However, in the shoot off Austin dropped one target to finish on 24/72, whilst Phil shot a perfect round to take the honours.
Paul Chaplow and Lee Kirby battled it out in a shoot off for third overall. Having matched each other stride for stride in the first two shoot off rounds, Paul then put together the perfect round to claim third spot.
Leanne Powell, Gerald Sweet and Izzy Thurnell all retained their titles in Ladies, Veterans and Colts from 2016 respectively, whilst Owen Vining won Juniors.
It was always going to take a monumental effort for Jim Doherty to secure the Dougall Memorial Trophy for the fourth year in a row and after scoring 25/74 in his first round, the chances of him winning again looked bleak.
At just 20-years-old, Ellis Jones showed immense composure posting the only perfect score of the day to take a thoroughly deserved victory. John Barnett finished runner up with 299/300 and Austin Coxhead reversed his shoot off fortunes from the previous day to take third spot.
Izzy Thurnell followed up her success in Colts to take the category honours for the second day running, whilst Mike Milne won Veterans and Derville Gilmartin topped Ladies and came first in B Class.
Eley Hawk once again supplied cartridges for all Class and Category winners in the Dougall Memorial along with gun slips and range bags.
The experience of going through two dramatic shoot offs on Friday and Saturday clearly served Austin Coxhead well heading into the English Open DTL on Sunday.
The Lancashire shooter overcame Mark Delf in a shoot off which went right down to sudden death to take home the title, having both shot 100/298 along with Ian Douglas.
Ellis Jones followed his success the previous day by beating James Tate in a shoot off to win the Junior Category. Emma Holden improved on her third place finish in Ladies last year to take the Category honours, whilst Morgan Williams won Colts.
Our thanks must go to both Eley Hawk and Blaser for supporting the English Open. Prizes included cartridges, Weekend Bags and additional financial support to the prize fund. The team at Bywell Shooting Ground were once again superb in playing the role as hosts of the DTL Weekend for the sixth consecutive year and we look forward to returning again in the near future.