Match Report
Sedbergh School 1st VIII vs  NW Cadet Skill At Arms Meeting
On: Friday, 14 Sep 2018
Venue: Away

The discipline of Service Rifle aims to emulate military shooting, incorporating rapid fire, unpredictable targets and physical challenges into its shoots. This weekend, Sedbergh attended the North West Cadet Skill at Arms Meeting (CADSAAM), the main regional competition for Service Rifle in this area and a hotly contested fixture among ACF (county) shooting teams and their commandants, who see Service Rifle as one of their main training and competitive priorities.

Sedbergh have historically been a major force in Service Rifle, but have reduced our focus on it as school shooting has shifted towards the discipline of Target Rifle. CADSAAM is our only remaining major fixture in the field, and it draws together school and ACF teams from across the North West of England. The standard of ACF shooting is usually particularly high, as CADSAAM is timed to follow from the end of their summer shooting camps, which are dominated by Service Rifle. Despite success in the Falling Plates match last year, we came into this year with something of a point to prove, having come second in most of the competitions to a strong Lancaster RGS team.

Saturday could hardly have gone better, with an excellent start in the opening Defence Match ending with 1st and 2ndplace for the two Sedbergh teams and a silver medal for Henry Nichols (H). The team followed this with victories in the Advance to Contact match, where Freddie Cade (H) won the gold medal ahead of Daisy Armstrong (R) and Rhiannon Piper (C) in 2nd and 3rd. The final shoot of the day was the Attack and Reorganisation – again, Sedbergh were comfortably victorious with Rhiannon tied for first place as an individual. With over one hundred shots for each person over the course of the day, such a clean sweep required the team to sustain an extremely high standard of shooting and concentration, despite physical demands, inclement weather and occasional organisational chaos on the part of the military organisers.

Sunday’s first item of business was Rhiannon’s shoot-off for the Attack and Reorganisation, which she won with a near-perfect display of marksmanship to take the trophy. Meanwhile, on an adjacent range, Daisy and Freddie were shooting the Pairs match, where they shot through soaking rain to submit a match-winning score of 112, twenty points clear of their nearest rivals. The only blot on our copybook was a disappointment in the Falling Plates match, where our hopes of retaining the trophy were knocked by early defeats. Nevertheless, Sedbergh emerged as Champion Team and Top School, with Freddie taking the crown as overall top shot, followed by Daisy in 2nd and Rhiannon in 3rd. In total, Sedbergh returned home with eight out of the ten trophies on offer at the competition, having been edged out in an aggregate competition by Lancashire ACF.

Perhaps the greatest compliment of the weekend came when we overheard a rival coach consoling her team that ‘all Sedbergh do is practice for this’: despite a successful range day last Saturday, we came into this team much ‘colder’ than our opponents, and it was a pleasure to exceed their expectations