Historic knockout challenge takes centre stage - The Stratford Observer
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16th Aug, 2022

Historic knockout challenge takes centre stage

Liam Moakes 11th Apr, 2017

STRATFORD & District Airgun League shooters’ attentions turned to the first round of the Thompson Knockout Cup – Mayor’s Challenge Cup last week.

Edgar Raymond Thompson, Mayor of Stratford Town Council for two years between 1926-28, presented this trophy to the league which is inscribed ‘Mayor’s Challenge Cup’.

The challenge is to eliminate registered teams on a knockout basis. The first winners were a team from the Talbot Inn in 1929/30.

Records are patchy as to previous winners, but include teams from pubs and clubs which have long since closed including the Talbot, Coach & Horses and Stratford WMC and GPO clubs.

It also records as past winners teams from the Red Lion, Windmill Inn and Royal British Legion which, although still in existence, are no longer home to shooting teams.

Perhaps the most intriguing winners were the Jack Gibbs VIII who won in 1960/61. The league has no other information about this team. Who were they and where did they shoot?

Binton A had the highest team score of the week, 231 against Avon’s 225. Binton A’s score included 34s from both Chris Reed and Will Cemis, who unluckily missed out on maximum points with their final shot. Andy Smith also scored 34 and John Parrott and Alan Dyer shot 33s.

Avon’s Steve Ray clocked up his second possible in consecutive weeks and Richard Groom shot a season-best of 34, just one away from achieving his first possible this season.

Clifford had only one three on their scorecard and consistent shooting gave them a solid 212-206 win over Binton B.

Ian Perkins was yet another shooter who was just one point short of a possible for Clifford. Chris Green set a high standard when he shot first for Binton, hitting 33, but his team-mates were not as accurate, getting a smattering of threes as they were knocked out.

Home Guard started well with 34 from Gareth Morris and went on to build on this against Avenue, who were never in contention and were convincingly beaten 215-203.

There was never any doubt which team would win the tie between MEB and Wilmcote, as the latter gave no quarter in securing a 230-207 success.

Starting with scores of 32, 33 and then 34 from Graham East, Wilmcote took a convincing lead and kept on pushing.

MEB shot well – ten more than their season average – but having to take two A N Other scores of 28 against scores of more than 30 from Wilmcote meant they had no chance of victory.

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