Scotland Squad Report, Phoenix Championship 2011.
The 2011 NRA-Phoenix Championships, held at Bisley from 26th to 28th May, saw the Scotland Gallery Rifle Team record its most significant result since its formation in 2008; with the Centre Fire Scotland Blue Team achieving a stunning win in the Phoenix International Teams (TP1/MT) Match. The Scotland team beat teams from England, Ireland, Germany, South Africa and Wales and this was the first time that England had been beaten in this event. The small bore Blue Team also and by the narrowest of margins, were runners-up to England in the small bore team match.
These performances were backed up by strong Scotland White and Purple team scores and squad members achieving individual match wins, top-three placings, a vast array of standard score medals and three Phoenix-records. Eight of the squad achieved their Grand Master medals.
The collective excellence of these performances and, in particular, the squad’s Blue Team victory in GRCF are hugely significant in that they prove Scotland can turn their promise into delivery. In many ways, lacking GB 1500 team members and therefore having little international match shoulder-to-shoulder experience in 2008, Scotland have had further to develop than the other Home Countries. The ability to combat nerves has been and remains an issue for all. However, the squad has a superb spirit and unity of purpose and the camaraderie in the squad and pride in representing Scotland has helped keep nerves in check and, in no small part supported by the excellent coaching of John Robinson, results have improved year-on-year. The Phoenix success is therefore a fantastic reward for all the hard work that the squad has invested.
However, as we plan for the Home Countries National Match in August the squad will be under no illusion as to the challenge to be faced. Getting the balance between the small bore and centre fire teams will be critical and the score margins between the home countries will leave little room for error but we can prepare for the “Nationals” in the knowledge that, whatever happens, we can more than compete individually and collectively with the other squads.
Photos by L. Kong