I wrote a report on the SBFTC facebook page and it was also put onto the SBFTc Web site (cheers Martin for putting it up).... After the feedback I got from people who enjoyed my ramblings I thought I would pop it on here for anyone interested or bored enough to fancy a read. After my debut with this report I have now been asked to officially report on any Southampton Buccs shooting adventures so will be doing a few more reports throughout the summer as we venture to the GP's.... I am doing a report on the BFTA British Championships and BFTA Inter Regionals that took place last weekend... and will pop that on here too for any who are a glutton for punishment and fancy reading another of my ramblings..... General Nonsense - Written by Me!! Helen England SBFTC Treasurer and Cake Maker Well What a winter..... This was my first Winter League and first competitions. I had a taste of competition over the summer with our club competition (narrowly missing out on the trophies by coming in 4th!!) and so was raring to go when the Winter League started. First came North Oxon with my old faithful S400 in minus 7 degrees, and I set a personal best with a 31 out of 36 what better start could I have asked for..... The old back injury caused some probs at Newbury and Christchurch but thoroughly enjoyed the shoots with Dan Privett and Mick Winstanley firmly in my sights as my B grade comrades (comrades as may be but competition is always high... ) The best shoot by far for me was the one we held at our grounds.... not only because it was a fab course and really interesting, I was proud to be a buccaneer as comments came in thick and fast complementing our course (the first we have been able to hold at our own ground so really important to us to make a good impression) oh and I did seem to start a cake making trend, which I may add I am taking over to SWEFTA and the GP's through the summer and cake competition will be running throughout the Winter League next year...... Buzzing from the day I managed to better my personal best achieving 36 out of 38 while debuting my new toy (Rob let me "borrow" one of his Walthers...... I like it and have now scratched my name in the stock.... shhh don t tell Rob!!!) Success on all bases, best score, new gun, beat my dad, Rob, Steve Mick AND Dan - have made it my mission to chase our Dan who managed to shoot his socks off this winter league bringing home some huge scores including a 36 out of 37 at Christchurch..... I missed the IOW shoot due to illness (I got as far as the ferry port at Lymington and had to turn for home a rather green colour), by all accounts I missed a good day and interesting course.... Next year... next year..... Then came the Showdown - Myself and Geoff were new to this 1 minute per lane malarkey..... I had been seriously panicking, but was paired up with Patrick from the North Oxon crew who was brilliant.... the opening statement "relax you have plenty of time" at first seemed comical in its understatement but once I got into the swing I found that I did actually have plenty of time and soon terms of encouragement was turned to "well done" as I walked off winner 13 to 11. Might mention that adrenaline meant I was shaking massively all through so how I managed to hit anything remains a mystery..... Keith had a blinding first round clearing the course (so you can understand my feeling of dread when I was picked to shoot against him in the next round!!). Steve, Keith and I were through to the first round of the Trophy, while Mick Geoff and Dan were on the first round of the plate having narrowly lost their first shoot off.... Steve got the unlucky draw of James Woodhead in the second round (James can of course be beaten, but he was on form showdown day so beating him is a tough ask... Steve got 19 and James 20, cant get much closer than that... unlucky Steve... good shooting James (a loyalty issue on my behalf I'm afraid, James being family (my lovely brother in law as he was brave enough to marry my sis Sarah last May) and a club member our beloved chairman Steve..... Luckily I was too busy shooting myself and loosing to Keith to have to decide on my support there..... Geoff had a close call too only being 2 targets short of matching his opponent in round 2, coming off with 7 to 9. Geoff is our new comer and has been improving all season.... keep up the good work Geoff and we can both kick some butt next winter league!!! I was drawn against Keith, and really enjoyed going around with him - Love Ya Keith - Suffering with a head cold he was on fire, and try as I might I had a few more misses coming off with 14 while our Keith got 17.... I was very happy with my scores being my first showdown, success in the first round and an improvement in my second.... Am looking forward to next year already...... Going forward to the quarters we had Keith in the trophy and Dan and Mick in the Plate.... Dan and Mick went head to head and today Dan was the better shot, so we then had Keith and Dan go into the Semi's...... Keith for the Trophy and Dan for the Plate.... Dan got drawn against Mick Woodhead (another loyalty issue, Mick is yet another family member being James's dad and my sister s dad in law )..... I was off marking James Woodhead and Rob F in the semi for the Trophy.... (yet another loyalty issue, James my bro-in-law or my other half..... hmm who to choose) I remained silent as to my support and proceeded to time and mark the boys.... "Clock On"...... James dropped one early on and Rob managed to clear so I watched proudly as Rob qualified for the Final..... Now who was he going to face.....? Keith was shooting against Don Old and they started halfway around the course so I had no idea...... Mean while Mick and Dan were down to the wire and on the final lanes Mick took the lead and won with 18 to 17. The Plate finalists were Mick Woodhead and Neil Long....... The trophy finalists were Rob F and ....... Keith Pitman..... Yay ..... Buccaneers in the final... damn fine shooting Keith...... Now I knew my job was to support Keith to win.... At least that way I would have lost to the winner!!!! Keith was in the Trophy Final with Rob F.... Now I had my loyalties split (yet again).... who to support ..... My club member and all round super nice guy Keith.... or my other half whom I obviously love to bits and want to see win (but have a dying urge to also beat him... that day will come... but for now back to my problem... who to support..... ) Steve put it quite well.... If I don t support Rob I have a long walk home... But if I don t support Keith I can t go back to the club...... tough call..... I opted to stay on the fence (while whispering to Keith "I hope you win", then kissing Rob and saying good luck..... The long day was taking its toll on all shooters, but making it to the final meant that these boys had already shot 4 courses that s 80 targets people...... Rob was on auto pilot and a buzz from winning against James in the Semi's (I also found out later that he wanted to do well as I was watching... Ahhh.... and so he should I was expecting great things from him after all his shooting the breeze signature does advertise CSFTA & SWEFTA Champion 2009....... so I knew he was capable.....) Keith was tired, I am not surprised I had only shot 2 courses, half the targets and had been wandering round marking all afternoon, where as there are no such respites for the shooters who qualify for the semi's and final..... The showdown is about who can keep their composure to shoot 2 targets in 1 minute, but also who has their core skills honed to such a degree that when exhaustion begins to creep in, shooting routine is so ingrained that through the tiredness your shooting still shines through...... I take my hat off to these four (Rob, Keith, Mick and Neil) for shooting all day and still putting in the performance..... not sure I could have done it myself..... The trophy round started with a blip for Keith, tiredness caught him on the Kneeling lane where the targets eluded his scope... after that his form returned and he began to solidly knock all the targets down.... Rob used his showdown experience to battle through the cloud of tiredness and won 18 to 15...... Mick seeing that James was knocked out decided it would be simply wrong not to have a Woodhead somewhere in the trophies and won the plate with 15 to 12. Bloody marvelous day and overall enjoyable league... I for one can t wait until next year and want to thank all shooters I had the privilege to shoot with, talk to, heckle and meet.... See you in the summer..... Helen England SBFTC Treasurer ********************************************************************************* Well if you actually read through till the end Im impressed and pretty damned happy that you did!!! I have to admit I really enjoyed writing the report and didnt realise how long it was until I re-read it myself!!! I have enjoyed the Winter Season and am now moving on to the summer... The FT bug has got well and truly under my skin.... See you all at some point I hope and thanks for reading!!