Two Deniliquin Clay Target Club shooters have qualified for the NSW Clay Target Association state championships.
Junior Eddie Dudley and veteran John Maxwell both made the cut for their respective Riverina squads following strong performances at the Riverina Zone shoot at Wagga Wagga on Saturday.
Only the top three shooters in each category were selected for each squad, competing in a 25 target single barrel, 25 target double barrel and 25 target points score.
Dudley, who will represent the Riverina Zone for the first time, managed 22/25 in the single barrel, 22/25 (25/28 following a shoot off) in the double barrel and shot 63/75 in the points score for a total of 107/125.
Maxwell finished nine down for the day, hitting 22/25 in the single barrel, 23/25 in the double and 71/75 in the points score to finish 116/125 and to book his spot in the Riverina Zone squad for a third time.
The veteran said they would both head to Wagga for the state event in October.
‘‘We will compete against four other zones at this event,’’ Maxwell said.
‘‘The winning squads at the state event will move on to the Australian Clay Target Association national championships in March.
‘‘The Nationals were cancelled this year due to COVID-19 but they still aim to hold the 2021 event.
‘‘It’s pretty exciting, particularly for Eddie. He’s been shooting for about 18 months.
‘‘However in my case, on the other hand, I started shooting back in 1969.’’
The Riverina zone state event was the first competitive shoot for both Deniliquin members since the Coronavirus pandemic restrictions in March.
Maxwell said it was a true test of shooters’ skills after three months off.
‘‘It’s the same as any sport really, you have to keep at it,’’ he said.
‘‘You can practice all your life but there is nothing like actual competition.
‘‘There is added pressure and nerves, not that I feel nerves anymore myself, that can get in the way of success sometimes.
‘‘It was good to be able to go out there and be mostly on target.’’