Mon, Jan 17, 2022 6:32 PM

Shooters continue proud heritage


Peter Jones

A fullbore shooting veteran and a rookie ensured Marlborough’s proud fullbore shooting reputation remained high during the national championships at Trentham late last week.

Kaituna/Blenheim club stalwart Malcolm Dodson, winner of the highly-prized Ballinger Belt in 2016, finished second in the battle for New Zealand’s oldest sporting trophy at the Trentham range, near Wellington.

He lost by five points in tricky conditions during Saturday’s final to Te Puke’s Mike Collings who became the first shooter in 150 years to defend the title. The Belt was first contested 161 years ago.

Despite there once again being no overseas competitors, 88 shooters lined up from Wednesday in an event which sees competitors shoot from 300, 500, 800, 900 and 1000 yard ranges. The top 12 advanced to the final – which was 15 shots from 900 yards – with scores then added onto totals.

During the course of the event three competitions were staged, the Wellington Rifle Association (WRA) championships, the Masefield Belt championship and the Ballinger Belt championship.

The rookie from Marlborough was Dom Henry, former a national rep on the smallbore range, who competed for the first time at the fullbore nationals. It is also his first competitive season at the fullbore discipline, being encouraged into the sport by Malcolm.

The 17-year-old produced some outstanding results over the three competitions. He was second in the under-25 section of the Ballinger Belt, he won the B grade short-range aggregate and the under-25 overall aggregate in the Masefield Championships and took out the B grade title in the Masefield Champs.

Dom also won the B grade aggregate and B grade long-range aggregate in the WRA (Wellington Rifle Association) championships at the start of the week.

Dom, Malcolm, Clinton Whyte and Jason Henry were also part of the South Island team that won the championships’ North v South match.

Jacob Morris won trophies for the C grade long and C grade 1000 yard shoots.

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