Sam Green wins the Essex Masters 2022

Browning sponsored shooter Sam Green has won the 2022 Essex Masters – and he’s over the moon. The shoot is widely regarded as ‘the big one’ that kicks off the Sporting clay season in the UK, and as Sam says, “It’s the one everyone wants to win.”

It is shot over two courses totalling 200 targets, shot in a single day. The event is held at Hepworth Hall, near Halstead in Essex, and this year was back in its usual place in the calendar after two years of disruption caused by the covid pandemic.

Sam shot the course on Wednesday 27 April using his Browning Ultra XS Pro Crown over-and-under, equalling the high score of 191 ex-200 set by Mark Winser earlier in the week.

That left plenty of time for another top shot to beat them, but the targets set by John Dyson are notoriously tricky. Even George Digweed, just returned from winning the World Championship in Texas, couldn’t match the top scores.

George Digweed in action on the last stand of the Red course

George said: “I was right in contention with two stands to go, and then I missed five on the last two stands, finishing on 187.”

Right up to the last few squads, Sam and Mark’s high score was there to be beaten, with top shots like S Shuckford, D Gooding and J Allaway making scores in the high 90s on the Black course.

But the Red course beat them all, and none of them could break the 190 barrier – leaving Mark and Sam on top.

Normally that would lead to a shoot-off for the title, but Mark had left for a pre-arranged holiday immediately after shooting, and in his absence Sam took the trophy uncontested.

Posting on Facebook from his hotel, Mark said: “Sam you are absolutely the deserved winner of this huge first Major of our shooting season… I’m sure we will get to do battle on plenty more occasions in our shooting careers. Enjoy my friend.”

Shooters relax after completing the 200-bird competition

Next years Essex Masters will be held from Monday 24 April to Sunday 30 April 2023. See the Hepworth Hall Facebook page for details.

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