James Marchington

Mark Winser has won the coveted Essex Masters trophy for the fourth time. He shot a tremendous score of 195 ex-200 on Monday 23 August With most of the 2,000+ entrants still to shoot, his score was there to be beaten all week.

Course designer John Dyson’s targets lived up to their fearsome reputation. As the days went by, even top shots such as Browning shooters Billy Baughan and Sam Green struggled to break past the low 180s.

“That’s the art of setting targets,” says Dyson. “It’s tricky. Something that looks like it wants a gap doesn’t. Something that looks like it doesn’t want a gap, does.”

Dyson sets out to make the shoot interesting and enjoyable. “I try not to repeat anything around the course, but when you’ve got 26 stands it’s difficult to do that,” he says.

Winser’s score held the lead as the last day dawned – but Richard Faulds was still to shoot. With a string of recent wins under his belt, Faulds was certainly capable of matching or even beating Winser’s score.

Some of the 2,000-plus shooters who entered this year’s Essex Masters

He shot the black course first and posted a 96 – a terrific score, but it meant he could only afford to drop one target on red. That would force a shoot-off with Winser, who had already set off on the three-hour journey back to Hepworth Hall SG ready to defend the trophy if needed.

Faulds shot the first three stands straight, then dropped one on stand 4. With characteristic composure he went on to straight the next three stands. Then a whole pair evaded him. He straighted the rest of the course, but it wasn’t enough to take the win.

So, Winser took the trophy, with Faulds two behind on 193. James Attwood won third place after a shoot-off.

Next year the event returns to its usual place in the calendar, as the first major Sporting event of the season. For the latest information follow Essex Gun on Facebook.

Click here for the official scores

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