Clay target shooters take a break during competition at the Gemfields annual two-day shoot earlier this month.
Clay target shooters take a break during competition at the Gemfields annual two-day shoot earlier this month. Robyn Esser

Maxwell top of the class

THE name John Maxwell is synonymous with clay target shooting.

The veteran shooter from Yeppoon is not only a well regarded mentor to the Central Queensland shooting fraternity, he is also a former Olympic and Commonwealth Games representative.

So it comes as little surprise Maxwell was sashed as the Best Overall Shooter at the Gemfields Clay Target Club’s annual two-day shoot earlier this month.

However, what didn’t come quite as expected was just how determined the local competition was going to be, including the likes of Gemfields club shooter Tom Mylrea.

Tom was one of many who kept Maxwell on his toes, fighting for his first place honours during the weekend’s shooting. Maxwell was forced into a “shoot-off” with the local marksman after drawing level in the 25 target point shoot.

After a further 30 clays and a few tense moments, it was Maxwell who eventually proved victorious. But not before a very nervous wait for Tom’s partner and Gemfields club secretary Sheridan James.

“I don’t know who was more nervous me or him,” Sheridan said. “But I know it must have been very intense for him.”

Tom was again in the thick of the action, this time in the 25 target single barrel event with a three-way shoot-off needed to decide the final winner.

Tom dropped his shot early in the shoot-off, paving the way for Springsure couple Bruce and Zara Powell to battle it out for the division’s top place. Unwavering, it was the eagle eye of Bruce which settled the shoot’s top gong.

Gemfields club president Robert Cross spoke highly of the weekend’s best shot, Maxwell, as a class shooter and well deserved of his overall first placing.

“I’ve known John (Maxwell) for years,” Cross said.

“He’s a good bloke and bloody good shot.”

Cross also made mention of Rolleston shooter Alex Dallas as one of the front-runners in the weekend competition before he was called away with a new family arrival.

“He had to leave early, apparently his wife just had a baby,” Cross said.

The Gemfields club shoots on the third Sunday of every month.

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