Smallbore Report: Bentata Cup Success

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The season began in Michaelmas 2022 with a large intake of over 100 new members.  Taster sessions were fully booked for ten days, allowing a vast number to try rifle shooting for the first time, before training and competition began more seriously.  The development squad shot their first shouldertoshoulder match against
Oakham School’s 1st VIII, while the Blues became well and truly embroiled in postals.  Victory for the Blues against an alumni team ensued on the same day as the OURC dinner!  The beginning of Hilary saw more of the same, including a President vs Secretary match involving around 20 members at an external range.  This put us in a good position heading into the more serious matches, starting with the 1st VIII vs Westminster School, kindly hosted by excaptain Tom Hendriks.

The Heslop VIII and Bentata IV at Bedford range
The Heslop VIII and Bentata IV at Bedford range

The end of Hilary Term saw the Heslop and Bentata matches contested at Bedford Rifle Club.  While the Heslop VIII were sadly beaten 1536 to 1517, the Bentata IV were victorious for the first time since 2016 with a score of 763 to 761.  This was especially apt as David Bentata himself was in attendance and took pleasure in presenting his trophy to Oxford.  Four new Half Blues were awarded at these matches to Madeleine Lay, Emma Stratford, Rosina White Belchere and Jacob Mallabone.

The following weekend saw the Kensington, ExCaptains’ and Lerman matches contested by a further twelve members at ranges in Cambridge.  Postal results included 1st and 2nd place for two OURC teams in an Oxfordshire league, Madeleine Lay reaching the BUCS final, and seven members of the Blues squad gaining county caps for Oxfordshire.  In all, the club had a very successful smallbore season in which numerous members improved their marksmanship.  Special thanks to Dom Price and Summer Fields School for generously allowing us to use their range.