Albany’s Steve Hurley claimed his ninth two-gun title after a thrilling countback decided the major award at the WA Lever Action State Championships on Sunday. The championships were held at the Albany Lever Action Rifle at the weekend and the local club had a strong representation at their Mutton Bird range. On the opening day Hurley won the classic calibre event with a score of 319.05 from Perth’s James Hay (313.06) and Albany member Joel Evans (301.08). Hurley appeared on his way to winning the open division on the second day when his rifle jammed on the final round. He slipped back to third as a result with a score of 443.11. Evans won the open title with 450.1 and Hay continued his strong weekend with a score of 449.1 in second place. Scores from the two events were combined to determine the overall two-gun champion. When they were announced, it became apparent there was a tie between Hurley and Hay on 762.16 out of a possible score of 850 points. As per the rules a countback of the amount of v-bulls shot determines the winner. Amazingly the pair were also tied on that. A further countback on the 10s shot was required and Hurley’s 40 successful 10s bettered the 33 shot by Hay and ultimately handed the Albany star the most remarkable of State two-gun victories. “We ended up dead level on scores and then on a countback of v-bulls the same, which I don’t think has ever happened before,” Hurley said. “We had to get all the targets from the two days of competition and count the 10s. “I won it on a countback. It’s ridiculous really to think that’s how close it was and I doubt it will ever happen again. They spent hours going through them and I think it will probably prompt a national rulebook change because normally you don’t keep your targets.” Hurley, a multiple national champion, has dominated the event winning eight two-gun championships since 2010. But he thought he had missed out when he experienced rifle drama. “I was shooting really well but my last target was where my gun jammed,” the 50-year-old said. “I shot all nines and 10s with my eight shots I had but my last two rounds fed out of the magazine and jammed the rifle. Immediately I thought there goes the open and there goes the two-gun.” Albany’s Peter Tulloch was crowned the State traditional champion with a score of 396.05. In the open category grade winners were Evans (AAA), Gary Skippings (AA), Liz Ellis (A), Steve Ellis (B), Stacey Evans (C) and Connor Ellis (junior under-15). Grade winners in the classic calibre were Hurley (AAA), Hay (AA), Janos Racz (A), Craig Campbell (B) and Tim Jones (C).