Maiden title winner beats mentor at nationals

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Albany shooter Joel Evans used a strong final two days of shooting to propel him to a maiden three-gun title at the Australian National Lever Action Championships in Adelaide earlier this month.

The 37-year-old overcame mentor Steve Hurley, who had won the last nine national titles, and local shooter David Sobik to be crowned national champion.

The Albany Lever Action Rifle Club sent 11 shooters to the national tournament and cemented itself as one of the country’s top clubs with strong performances throughout the event.

After Sobik took out the rimfire on the first day, Evans responded the next day to win the centre fire, registering a score of 454.11.

Sobik led the field after two days with a score of 915.09 and was deemed the winner of the two-gun title.

However, Evans produced an impressive performance in the classic calibre to claim the three-gun title, 15 points ahead of the second-placed Sobik.

Evans said he was thrilled to win the overall award.

“It was a great feeling to win,” he said.

“I didn’t expect to win at all.

“I don’t really look at other people’s scores. I just concentrate on what I’m doing and it turned out all right in the end.”

Evans said Hurley had been a valuable resource for knowledge.

“Steve got me into lever action and he’s been so helpful since I started,” he said.

Hurley said he would continue his quest for a 10th national title after finishing fourth.

“I just want to get 10,” he said.

“I don’t care when it happens.”

In the State team’s event, Albany shooters made up the whole WA team as Evans, Sobik, Hurley and Mick McDonnell led WA to victory.

Sue Knapp placed second in the ladies’ national championship after winning the previous two titles.

Other notable performances came from Peter Tulloch, Bill Wellington, Rob Gill, Suzanne Peacock and Kim Knapp.

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