Nottinghamshire vs. Derbyshire
L. Merritt Challenge Shield Match 2014
In 1968 there was inaugurated a shooting match between the Nottinghamshire Rifle Association and the Derbyshire Rifle Association County Fullbore teams. The prize was a challenge shield for the winning team and a cup for the highest score on the day of the match. Both are associated with Mr Len Merritt and the shield carries his name.The match was shot annually between 1968 and the mid–1970's but then dropped out of the calendar. This year the match has been revived and took place at Thorpe Cloud range in Derbyshire on July 19th 2014.
Simon Favell, Hon. Sec. of the Derbyshire RA has sent us this brief report of the match.
"First of all, I would like to thank all the individuals who made the effort, both for Nottinghamshire RA and for the home team of Derbyshire RA, who turned out to Thorpe on one of the wettest days we have shot for a long while. The morning started off badly, with the delayed start time being pushed further back due to the heavens opening. The rain was pretty much constant then until the second detail after lunch. However, the second detail did not have it all their own way. As the temperature started to rise, so did the humidity and then the heat haze off of the mantle. Both teams were reduced down to the best 8 scores, from 9, as one NRA team member left without shooting due to the inclement weather and a DRA team member due to medical reasons."
Shooting in progess,
Left: morning detail at 300 yards in the rain
Right: afternoon detail at 500 yards in high humidity
The match was held on the same day as the Queen's Final at Bisley, which undoubtedly effected the attendance of both county teams at the event. The L. Merritt Notts. v. Derbys. Challenge Shield was won by Derbyshire and their top scorer, P Wright, took the cup for the Notts. v. Derbys. Combined Championship Merritt Shield Highest Score.
|The Merritt Shield||The Merritt Cup|
The scores for the teams and reserves were as follows:
|Derbyshire Rifle Association|
|300 yds||400 yds||500 yds||Totals|
|Nottinghamshire Rifle Association|