Sports

Banks cashes in on inaugural Jamaica Gun Club tourney

BY SHERDON COWAN
Observer staff reporter
cowans@jamaicaobserver.com

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

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The experience and mental focus of Ian Banks propelled the veteran shooter to the top of the leader board for the inaugural staging of the Jamaica Gun Club (JGC) Sporting Clays Shotgun Championship at the Jamaica Skeet Club in Portmore on Sunday.

Banks, the many-time national champion, bettered the competition of over 130 participants to claim the crown by one bird, after shooting an overall 100 birds to Craig Simpson's 99, with Damion Chung rounding off the top-three with 97 birds.

They were joined by Chad Ziadie (95), Dominic Simpson (91), promising junior shooter Roman Tavares Simpson (91) and Shaun Barnes (90) to make up the super-six shoot-off, which was contested by seven shooters after Barnes and Ziadie had initially ended with 82 birds.

In the intense shoot-off, the competitors were given an additional 18 targets, which meant the crown could have gone in any direction.

So nail-biting was the shoot-off that, at the end of those 18 targets, two further shoot-offs were required as Banks and Craig Simpson were locked on 96 each for the top spot, while Ziadie and Chung were also locked on 94.

In the end, it was Banks who displayed fine posture and dexterity to finish High Overall (HOA) winner after hitting four of his six additional birds, while Craig Simpson only managed to take down three of his six birds.

Chung took down three of his six birds to Ziadie's one to take third place and A class honours.

Banks was elated by what he described as a long-overdue victory after only managing 81 hits in the preliminary round of the craftily set course by Bruce DuQuesnay.

“It has been a long time. To be honest, I didn't shoot my best in the main, but it got me as far as the super six and I was five targets off the pace going into the super six, and I ended up with 19 of the 24 targets which gave me the win and I am very happy,” he told the Jamaica Observer.

For runner-up Craig Simpson, who had initially tallied 86 from the preliminary round, the windy conditions sweeping across the venue made the course that much more challenging.

“It was a challenging course and in the end for the super six I didn't find my best game. The other guys were shooting really well, so I lift my hat off to the competition, especially to Banks, who shot well throughout the three stations and he came out the better man today (Sunday),” said Simpson, who was delighted that is brother Dominic also finished among the top shooters.

“I think this was a good warm-up to the Nationals Championships and I think it will only be to my benefit for future events, so I take some positives from this because not every day you are going to win.

“But we still had fun and as I tell my friends, we are recreational professionals; we are not professionals because this is not what we do for a living. So if you come out one day and you perform below standard, it is nothing to feel too bad about,” he added.

Meanwhile, Barnes (90) was the third -place finisher in the A class behind Chung and Ziadie.

Tavares-Finson, who went on an impressive gun run in the preliminary round, topped the B and junior classes with his score of 91. Jeffery Panton (80) and Zachary Chen (76) were the runners-up in the B class, while Mark Desnoes (75) and Zachary Lazarus (74) were the junior class runners-up.

Both Desnoes and Lazarus were also runners-up in the C class behind Dominic Simpson.

JJ Ralston (73) bettered competition in the D class, finishing ahead of Mark Benjamin and Nathan Chin, who both tallied 71.

However, Chin topped the sub-junior class ahead of Richard Todd and Zaniel Knight, who both shot 57.

The E class went to Tristan Delisser (71), followed by Chris Clarke and Kirk Calah with an identical score of 62.

Justin Read continues to prove too good for the Hunters class, topping the competition with a score of 77 ahead of Damien Sawyers (66) and Cody Delisser (64).

The outstanding Wendy McMaster continues her steady growth in the sport as she outshot Toni Barnes in a shoot-off to win the Ladies class, after both ended on 65. Marguerite Harris was third with 61.

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