Lawshall man reclaims clay pigeon title after 12-year gap

CHAMPION: Paul Simpson shoots his way to victory. Picture: CPSA
CHAMPION: Paul Simpson shoots his way to victory. Picture: CPSA
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Risby hosted a national clay pigeon shooting event earlier this month, with a Lawshall entrant taking top spot.

Paul Simpson won the 2017 English Open after a thrilling 30 target Super Final at The Highwaymans Shooting Ground.

He qualified for the six-man Super Final one point behind Soham’s 18-year-old Taylor Hedgecock, who led the way from the first day of the competition.

The 30 targets set for the final posed a challenge to all of the finalists, and led to plenty of drama unfolding with Simpson and Hedgecock deadlocked as they headed into the last stand of 10 targets.

Simpson missed his first pair before hitting the remaining eight targets to give him an overall score of 135.

Hedgecock only managed to hit one out of his first four targets, which proved decisive. A final stand score of five gave the teenager a total of 132 to earn him third place and the Junior High Gun.

Simpson, who last won the event in 2005, said: “I threw caution to the wind. I was frustrated missing the first pair and knew I had to get it together.

“I refocused and thankfully managed to score eight out of 10, luckily I just did enough.

“It’s nice to have my hands back on the trophy — this was the first big Championship I won and I’m delighted to have won it this year.

“I really enjoyed the competition. I honestly came here with no real hopes of shooting well and ended up winning.”

Meanwhile, Georgia Moule completed a double across Ladies and Lady Juniors shooting an impressive 100 ex 120. The Cambridgeshire shooter pipped Pauline Chapman by a single point to take the Ladies title, with Nadine Gilder completing the top three on 94 ex 120.

The Lady Colts category was equally as competitive with the top three shooters separated by two points. Annalise Evans took the honours with 88, closely followed by Evie Figliolini on 87 and Ami Hedgecock with 86.

Jamie Gutteridge completed a hat trick of victories in Disabled Standing and Adrian Last retained the Disabled Sitting title.

Clay Pigeon Shooting Association chief executive Nick Fellows said: “Simon Smith and his team have done a fantastic job hosting the English Open at Highwaymans Shooting Ground and many congratulations to Paul Simpson.”