SSAA Griffith staged a very successful New South Wales Sporting Clays State Titles at its Dave Wallace Range when more than 90 of Australia’s best Sporting Clays shooters from around NSW, ACT, Victoria and Queensland attended to compete on August 23 and 24. The 200-target event comprised the NSW Sporting Clays State Titles in conjunction with the Dave Wallace Memorial Shoot. Wallace was originally responsible for the establishment of the Sporting Clays range.
The Sporting Clays range is situated atop a rocky hill with cliffs on one side, making it distinctive in Australia and presenting challenging targets to visiting competitors who usually only shoot on flat areas. Traps were set to throw clay targets from all angles and speeds in the bushland, but also down and along cliff faces and off towers. Local shooters had some advantage, and many of the visiting competitors had the added challenge of mastering shooting clay targets from around a hillside.
Australian and World Sporting Clays Champion Damien Birgan declared it one of the best ranges for Sporting Clays in Australia and likened it to the Mt Panorama race track at Bathurst, where this mountainous race track has special difficulties not found on other race tracks on flat areas.
The shoot was generously sponsored by SSAA NSW, Casella Wines, Gamebore Ammunition, Griffith and a wide range of local and national sponsors organised by Shotgun Captain Jamie Cirillo. More than $12,000 in prizes were on offer, including eight .17-calibre rimfire rifles for the overall grade winners. Overall winners also received SSAA NSW medallions. Local club members were responsible for shoot administration and keeping the clay target traps working efficiently all weekend, while members of the Yoogali Primary School P&C Association provided some tasty catering for everyone.
As the final scores were tallied, the major winners were:
Saturday’s competition: Nick Guerra (Nathalia) 87/100 targets
AA Grade: Damien Birgan (Brisbane) after a shoot-off with Marty Seymour (Yarrawonga) 86
A Grade: Anthony Blacker (Griffith) 74
B Grade: Brian Hoyland (Deniliquin) 66
C Grade: Alfonso Toscan (Griffith) 59
Veterans: Frank DiFiore (Griffith) 75
Ladies: Kelly Norris (Echuca) 77
Juniors: Emalene Munro (Beckom) 56
On Sunday, the targets were fine-tuned and Damien Birgan (Brisbane) emerged the winner after a long and brilliant shoot-off with Nick Geurra 90/100 targets.
AA Grade: Nick Geurra (Nathalia) 90
A Grade: Brett Inch (Temora) 75
B Grade: Simon Gee (Hay) 65
C Grade: Justin Badoco (Griffith) 64
Veterans: Frank DiFiore (Griffith) 72
Ladies: Kelly Norris (Echuca) 68
Juniors: Brandon Gugliemino (Griffith) 64
Overall winners for both days of shooting and the .17-calibre rimfire rifles were:
High Gun: Nick Guerra (Nathalia) 177/200
AA Grade: Damien Birgan (Brisbane) 176, Bart Brighenti (Griffith) 164, Steve Norris (Echuca) 162
A Grade: Anthony Blacker (Griffith) 144, Peter Rae (temora) 144, Brett Inch (Temora) 143
B Grade: Simon Gee (Hay) 127, Brian Hoyland (Deniliquin) 123, Peter Huchings (Canberra) 120
C Grade: Justin Badoco (Griffith) 119, Leight Stokes (Griffith) 114, Helen Devlin (Albury) 108
Veterans: Frank DiFiore (Griffith) 147, Ron Kocaj (Griffith) 132, Sid Gugliemino (Griffith) 116
Ladies: Kelly Norris (Echuca) 145, Trina Adams (Albury) 113, Jan Jacka (Hay) 100
Juniors: Brandon Gugliemino (Griffith) 114, Michaela Macartney (Hay) 103, Sebastian Zanotto (Griffith) 99