I’ve shot 3 Showdowns and it has to be one of the toughest competitions going, 2 targets in 1 minute leaves you no time to double check anything but it’s a double edge sword in that you can easily knock a few of the big names out if you shoot well. Some hate the format but not me, I’m all for it because it’s something different.
The big lesson I always take away from The Showdown is that my first instinct is usually correct and I should stop overthinking targets and committing my worst crime of giving too much wind of late.
My first draw was Robbo on the Yellow Course, this was going to be a tough start but I’d already beaten his once at The Worlds so I fancied my chances. The course was at the bottom end of Emley’s ground meaning we’d got wind from two directions to contend with. Robbo went first and missed his first target, oh hello, opening let’s step in! I helped him out though by missing my second, god damn.
I was dreading the standers on this competition but I nailed one but missed the other giving Robbo the lead, I just had to hope he messed up while I dug right in. I convinced myself that two down was fine and all I had to do was get the rest. Robb missed target 5 due to the wind but I nailed it, I was buzzing and sweating buckets due to the heat, rain and excitement. All I had to do was hold on and pray for the shot off. Robb dropped on the last lane and nailed target 9, crap this was going to be close. The FT Gods smiled on me and he missed target 10, all I had to do was get both of these and I was through to my first ever second Showdown round. First one went easily, bang in the middle but as it fell I got the 30-second call, don’t panic I thought. Lock on target 10 and the count was already at 10 seconds. I held off until the 2 count and bosh I’d done him again, MEGA!
In the next drawn I wasn’t so lucky, I’d drawn our Andy for a start and the weather looked like it was about to change again. Andy had cleared his first round so I knew I had a fight on my hands but here was my chance to become an FT legend and knock him out. I was up for it because I knew he wouldn’t be giving me any chances, I just pictured myself mentally texting him ever morning for a full year saying “I beat you”, it helped give me confidence and a northern smile because I would have really enjoyed that!
Not only had I draw Andy, I was also on the difficult White Course in the pouring rain, this was about to be the most pressure I’d ever been under. Andy knew that and pretty much left me alone for a change. It all started so well but after missing target 14 he’d done me. All I had to do now was keep focussed on the game ahead and hope his gun would break! I did my best but it wasn’t enough. 16 is a respectful score for a Showdown but when you’re up against some of the top lads you need a bit of luck.
I popped on a Marshal’s vest and watched the final unfold. Andy had drawn Mark Stenton, who he lost 15-17 to Mark, why couldn’t he have done that with me. I watched Woody double dink an easy lane after shooting brilliantly all day, I was really surprised, to be honest though that’s the Showdown for you.
Robbo had made it through and had loads more shoots than me in The Plate and faced Berty in the final, Berty took the title, well done fella. Neil and Andras battled hard against each other but Andras let him with a couple of misses and Neil punished him for the rest of the course. Brilliant shooting from Neil against some of the toughest opponents.