Cadets from 126 (City of Derby) Squadron recently competed in the final of the Battle of Britain shooting competition at the Lord Roberts Centre, Bisley Camp.
The team was competing for the Battle of Britain trophy against 1344 (Cardiff) Sqn. This was the fourth time 126 had made it to the final. In 2011 Derby came second in the competition by only one point so this year they were determined to beat their old rivals.
Running concurrently to the Battle of Britain competition was the Inter Service match competing for the Punch Trophy against the top two teams from the Army Cadet Force and the Sea Cadet Corp, this trophy has been won by the ATC for the past 23 years and it was up to Derby and Cardiff to work together to win it for the 24th consecutive year.
The competition started with the ACF taking an early lead, however this did not deter the ATC team who pulled it back and after the third set of firers had a comfortable lead for the Punch Trophy.
The real competition was to come when Derby realised they were neck and neck with Cardiff with one final card to shoot. Cdt Sgt Alice Southall had no idea that it was all down to her to win the Battle of Britain competition for Derby. The last firer for Cardiff set the standard by scoring 99 out of 100 which meant Alice had to get the maximum score to win.
The rest of the team nervously watched as each shot went down. Alice kept her cool and achieved the maximum score which meant 126 Sqn had won the competition by one single point.
Sgt Southall said “I can’t believe that we won the Battle of Britain competition by one point, this was my fourth year competing in this competition and all of our hard work has paid off, I was really pleased to score a 100/100 in match conditions.”
The ATC had a particularly successful day overall as they retained the Punch Trophy for the 24th consecutive year and they also won the Shell Trophy with a combined team from both Derby and Cardiff beating the Army and Sea Cadets.
On the final parade the cadets were presented with the trophies and medals, Sgt Southall was presented with a silver spoon for being the first cadet in the history of the competition to achieve the maximum score.