Albany sharpshooters set sights on national title
Albany duo Joel Evans and Steve Hurley have national glory in their line of fire after the sharpshooters won the New South Wales and WA State two-gun titles respectively in recent months.
Members of the Albany Lever Action Rifle Club, Evans and Hurley have a healthy rivalry going on between them, but their close bond has led to success at the two most recent State competitions.
In May they travelled to the NSW State Lever Action Rifle Championships and, in a field of 34 competitors, Evans came away with his first State success.
Evans won both the open and classic calibre events to help him claim the prestigious two-gun title in the process with Hurley in second place.
“Steve won it last year and it’s a pretty difficult range to shoot on,” Evans said.
“It’s about who makes the least mistakes and I was probably the most consistent over the two days and that’s my first one (State title).”
The 38-year-old has been shooting only four years and will eye more success at the Queensland championships in September before Albany hosts the national titles just a few weeks later.
On the June long weekend, Albany hosted the WA Lever Action State Championships, with Hurley claiming his eighth two-gun title at the event against a field of 57 competitors.
The 47-year-old won the classic calibre and finished second in the open division on his way to a State record score of 864.17, which was enough to defeat Perth’s Brett Worner and Evans.
“It’s the highest score I’ve got in the WA title,” Hurley said.
“I was shooting well in the NSW title but things went amiss with my gun and, credit to Joel, he was too good for me in the end.
“I had a brand new gun over there that hadn’t been shot before and, thankfully, my gun worked well here in the WA championships.
“I must thank Joel. On our trip, he carried everything for me, all my gear because of my back injury. Without him, I’d be stuffed.”
Hurley will have spinal surgery on Monday to fix his ongoing back injury. The multiple State and national titleholder is desperate to be back shooting for the national championships on his home range.
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