WINGHAM Rifle Club’s Tony Moon bowed out of big time shooting when he was a member of the NSW team that won the grand championship and was runner up in the Merrett at the Australian titles held in Melbourne.
This was the first time in about eight years Moon has represented his State. And he assures it will be the last.
“I’m 63 now, I’m getting old and it’s about time I stepped aside,’’ he said.
Moon put his name forward for selection mainly because he’d never been to Melbourne before. From an original squad of 35 the team was whittled down to 10 win one reserve for the championships.
All the States as well as the ACT and Northern Territory were represented. The championships went for eight days, with the team event going for three following by the individual shoot. The team event was contested over eight ranges, from 300 years to 1000,
Moon said he went ‘okay’ shooting for NSW but didn’t rate in the individual. He was in strong form going into the nationals and is at a bit of a loss to explain his performance.
“It’s like all sports I suppose - you can be in form one minute and out of it the next.’’
NSW lost the prestigious Merrett by two points to Victoria by two points. Moon admits a tactical error proved crucial in the final shoot.
“We led Victoria by final, but they used a bit of local knowledge,’’ he said.
“They held back from shooting by 15 minutes. Our first two guys had some trouble with the windy conditions and finished with 87-100. Up to then they hadn’t dropped a point,’’ he said.
The weather had improved when the Victorians opened fire and they finished with 99 - a 12 point turnaround that proved decisive.
This was the first major event Moon has contested since winning the Canberra Queens in 2009. He says he’ll now concentrate on club events with the Wingham club as well as coaching his son, Ronan, who has just taken up the sport.
This will also allow more time for his wife, Wendy, who is also a champion shot, to spend more time on the range.