10/10 Match Training

All the team shot well with the great batch
So our captain his head had to scratch
While selecting a team
Made of Great Britain's cream
For a big one: the Australia Match.

Despite it only being a practice day, Team GB was up and about at the normal time of 06:00 to head off to the range to get ready for an 08:30 kickoff. With the selection for tomorrow’s Australia Match to be made by this evening and only 10 shooting and 2 coaching places available, every shooter and coach would be wanting to impress and make the team, not least those needing only an Australia Match to secure their “Big 5”. With most buses having headed off to the Natives at 06:30, a swift breakfast ensued; leaving the team had plenty of time for a warmup.

Management drew for targets as the rest of the team moved out onto the range in preparation for the 300 yards shoot (the day’s course of fire would mimic the Australia Match, per ICFRA rules.) Meanwhile the sky had an overcast look to it and a few spots of rain threatened; however the day was not to see a repeat of last Saturday morning’s deluge. 600 and then 900 yards followed in fairly quick succession. Lunch was called after the conclusion of 900, and the various vans loaded up and trouped off to get fed before the start of 1000 yards. Jane and her team of dedicated shoppers continue to keep everyone well provisioned on and off the range. Moving back on to the range for 1000, the wind started to show some of the rapid and strong changes in both strength and direction that had made yesterday’s long range shoots so challenging. Despite this, the coaches kept both a cool head and the majority of shots in the bullseye. Scoring was not bad at all as a result, especially as some of the shooters put down excellent groups despite the stop/start nature of the practice.

After a few hours’ break, during which the captain headed over to the captains’ meeting and the rest of the team charged back to the hotel, the team met up again at the Natives RC for another superb Tremlett dinner. Shortly before the team ate, Webbie announced the team which would fight to retain the Australia Match trophy. Each team member was either disappointed with their exclusion or elated but keen not to let the side down, depending on whether their name was mentioned or not. Webbie commented that team selection is always a difficult task, which he was delighted that the team had contrived to make impossible. After another solid feed, it was time to head home for a good night’s sleep before the match.

On a final, lighter note your correspondent and his bus-mates were delighted to enjoy (Consultant Plastic Surgeon) Kelvin Ramsey’s music collection on the way back from the range to the hotel. “It’s my operating theatre playlist,” he commented.

“It’s a good job the patients are asleep then!” Came the inevitable reply.