Nigel’s Rock steady round

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ANOTHER good day and another good turn-out.

Sunday’s shoot at Braidwood was the last qualifying event for the ground’s Summer Series, as well as the annual contest for the Hermiston Cup.

After the horrendous rain over the last seven days it was a pleasant surprise to have clear skies and warmth, albeit more autumnal than summery.

The verdict on the first layout – “Jim Black’s been at it again!”.

The introduction of a couple of completely new targets, along with the tweaking of others, made the guns think on their feet.

Nigel Rock (Kelso) won the Hermiston Cup after carding 35 in the trophy round, with Kyle Smith (Dunbar) right behind him on 34. Jim Brodie (Denholm) and Jack Carlyle (Dalton) shared third slot just one target behind.

The afternoon session proved an even tighter affair with no less than three guns tying the lead. Brodie, Carlyle and Bobby Bruce (Broxburn) all finished layout two on 35, Smith once again only a single clay adrift.

Jim McPhillips (Bathgate), John Ross (Whitburn) and Stuart Donaldson (Musselburgh) shared third on 33.

That left the aggregate scores to be calculated, revealing a three way tie for top gun this week – Brodie, Carlyle and Smith all with overall scores of 68.

Smith, still classified a junior at national level, was also delighted to learn that his steady shooting over the summer puts him in pole position for the Summer Series Shoot-off in two week’s time from an average position over the qualifying period of 2.5.

Other ground members making the squad are Brodie (2.7), Donald Livingston (Edinburgh, 2.8), Ali Cumming (Galashiels, 3.3), Ross (3.3) and Paul Allison (Cavers, 3.8).

Nigel Rock has the wild card entry, while McPhillips and Billy Williamson (Linlithgowbridge) are reserve guns at 4.3.

The next competition at Braidwood is on Sunday, August 28. As well as the Summer Series Shoot-off, the remaining guns have the opportunity to contest the Summertime Trophy last won by Lindsay Gordon (Prestonpans) in 2010.

Entries close at 12.30pm, all welcome.