A Portadown Army Reservist has beaten off competition from across Northern Ireland to win a top individual award during the annual Royal Irish Regiment operational shooting competition at Magilligan Training Centre.
Ranger Matthew Currie, who is based at the Army Reserve Centre in Charles Street, was delighted after he lifted the B Class (for soldiers under five years’ service) trophy.
It was a hard fought victory for Matthew over two days and nine different shoots. He saw off close competition from other Reservists from Belfast, Ballymena, Newtownabbey and Enniskillen Army Reserve Centres; and Regular soldiers from the Royal Irish Regiment’s Regular Army battalion.
The Company is based at two locations; Charles Street, Portadown and have just started moving part of the Company into Thiepval Barracks, Lisburn; though the Company has Reservists from across County Armagh and County Down.
For the first time, a group from the 1st battalion’s paired Regular Army battalion - from Ternhill, Shropshire - entered a team. The Regular Army team, consisting of soldiers from across Ireland, was impressed with the skill of their fellow Reservists like Matthew.
Lance Corporal Pearse Murphy from Cork said, “These guys might be part-time, but they have shown us they have a real appetite to be the best. The standard of some of their shooting was incredible, and underlines the experience and professionalism of the Army Reserve. It has been a very enjoyable weekend competing and socialising with our Reservist colleagues. It has highlighted the strength of the bond between both battalions. I look forward to coming back next year and winning their trophy!”
Some of the winning team will now form a Battalion team as one of the teams representing Northern Ireland at the national shooting competition at Bisley, London later in the summer.
Ranger Jason Boyd, a Reservist from Lurgan, won the New Soldier (under three years’ service) cup. He said, “I’ve only been in the Army Reserve for a short time and I had never shot before joining. However, I have found the Reservist experience brilliant. This time last year I would never have imagined being presented a cup for shooting. Joining the Army Reserve has been one of my best decisions.”
If you have the drive, ambition and interest and are reasonably fit, telephone 028 9226 0042, or text INFO to 07920 232380; or for more information search “army jobs” and go to Army Reserve at www.army.mod.uk.