HOT SHOTS: John Matthews at the NSW Championships.
HOT SHOTS: John Matthews at the NSW Championships. SSAA

Maclean marksman just shy of NSW title

SHOOTING: Three bulls eyes were the difference as a Maclean marksman came agonisingly close to a state title.

Competing against some of the Australia's best target shooters, John Matthews came up just short of winning the IRB Rimfire target shooting championships in Newcastle over the long weekend.

At the end of the competition, Matthews was tied on points with Coffs Harbour's Greg Sutherland who sealed the win with just three more centre X's in the close contest.

"I felt pretty good going into it to be honest,” Mathews said.

"I had come across a good batch of ammunition and it gave me a lot of confidence.”

Matthews emphasised how important that new ammunition was, as the slightest inconsistency in production can affect the trajectory of each bullet, cruelling his chances of success.

The Maclean local has tasted his fair share of success in the past, winning a gold medal at the World Rimfire Championships in Portugal in 2016, but this time was especially proud of his son's effort in the event.

The marksman gene had clearly been passed on as Nathan Matthews tied for third, unfortunately missing out on a placing after a count-back.

"He is only 21 and he hasn't actually shot for about 18 months,” said Matthews

"He just came to the range and shot exceptionally well, he clearly has a lot of talent.”

Local sport shooter and 2014 world champion John Radford said he was amazed by the performance of the young marksman, considering his lack of practice.

"That is an absolutely incredible result, target shooting is very competitive and I am absolutely stoked at his performance,” he said.

"For him to come third against such high competition is mind-boggling.”

Radford had coached both John Matthews and the winner Greg Sutherland and was thrilled the North Coast was so well represented in the sport, with Coffs Harbour's Bill Buchanan placing eighth.



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