Livingston named champ

SUNDAY’S event at Braidwood saw the culmination of the Ground Winter Series take place with nine guns shooting off over 80 targets for the Crystal Decanter and the honour of becoming winter champion.

The withdrawal of Wild Card entry Douglas Browning (Hawick) meant that equal first reserves Stuart Rankine (Jedburgh) and Kyle Smith (Dunbar) were invited to take part too.

Referee Joe Baumgart (Hawick) marshalled the squad and promptly at noon they set off to shoot.

At the halfway stage, having dropped only five clays, series favourite, Donald Livingston (Edinburgh) had managed to establish a single point advantage over Rankine.

Smith and Stuart Donaldson (Dalkeith) lay joint third on 32.

As they set off on their second layout, all was still to play for.

This time, Livingston didn’t have it all his own way as Smith and Lindsay Gordon (Prestonpans) matched his 33-point effort.

Jim Brodie (Denholm) and Stuart Dawson (Bedlington) carded the next highest score of 29, ahead of Rankine and Donaldson’s 28.

When overall scores were tallied there was clearly no need for a shoot-off to determine the result as Livingston emerged the undoubted winner on 68, retaining the Series Championship for another year.

Smith ended the day in runner-up slot on a total of 65 with Rankine third on 62.

Elsewhere The ‘Best of the Rest’ trophy was at stake. Ever-popular Braidwood regular, David Bertram (Earlston) enjoyed his first outright win for a number of years, coming first on 33 ex-40 to take the title. Billy Williamson (Linlithgow Bridge) was only one away with Midge Little (Clovenfords) taking third place on 31.

The next competition is on Sunday, April 10. On this occasion it shall be the turn of Stuart Dawson to defend the Yarrow Trophy.

Shooters are reminded that this is the first shoot of the year, scheduled for summer hours. Entries close at 12.30pm. All welcome.