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The Portland Cup Competition 1908

We noted the formation of a county association to further miniature rifle shooting in the 1906 reports. Such a move was actively supported by the Duke of Portland, who agreed to become its President. Furthermore he presented the new association with a cup to be competed for annually between clubs affiliated to the association.

The new county association was called the Nottinghamshire Association of Civilian and Miniature Rifle Clubs to reflect its inclusion of the Nottinghamshire League of Civilian Rifle Clubs and the miniature rifle clubs which were not part of this League.

At the beginning of the 1908 season, the new Association met to set out the format of the first competition for the Portland Cup. This was to be a knock-out competition with separate draws for each round. To facilitate the holding of matches, the entries were divided into a northern and a southern section, each to run separately up to the quarter-finals. The semi-final would be held on a neutral range with the two remaining teams from each section shooting off for the final. The final would follow immediately after the semi-finals

The initial draw was made to reduce the number of teams in each section to eight to go forward to the second round

Portland Cup
The Portland Challenge Cup

Nottingham Evening Post, Wednesday, 29 April 1908



A meeting of the executive of the County Association Of Civilian and Miniature Rifle Clubs was held at the Mechanics' Institute, Nottingham, last evening. Mr D.J. Jardine presided, and those also present were Messrs. T. Caunt (Mapperley), A.E. Sutton, J.T. Radford (Notts Civilians), T.F. Revel (Boots' Athletic), H. Gibson (Radcliffe-on-Trent), E.A. Merryweather (Southwell), and E. Morrell (assistant organising secretary). The chief business was the draw for the first round of the Duke of Portland's Cup Competition, entries for which closed on Saturday. The draw resulted as follows:–


Radcliffe v. Sneinton
Constitutional Club v. St. Thomas's
Boots Athletic A team v. Lowdham
Notts. Civilians v. Carringhton
Byes - Jardine's, Beeston, Boots Athletic B Team, and Mapperley.


Stanley Works, Newark v. Wiseton
Castle Brewery, Newark v. Mansfield
Byes - Retford A Team, Retford B Team, Retford C Team, Southwell, Kirkby-in-Ashfield, and Newark Town.

The first-named club has the choice of range. The round will be fired on May 16th, and it was decided that no match must commence later than 3.30. All matches are to be fired on outdoor ranges, and Mapperley R.C. have offered to allow the Constitutional Club v. St. Thomas's and the Civilians v. Carrington matches to take place on their range. The targets for the matches will be sent to the home team, and the appointment of range officers for the competition was left in the hands of the organising secretary.

The entries for the Astor Cup Competition were also received on Saturday, but the executive decided to leave over the arrangement of details as to the squadding of the teams, etc., to their next meeting. In the meantime the secretaries of the clubs which have entered are asked what time will be most suitable to their teams to shoot.

Despite the division of the Portland Cup competition into north and south sections, some clubs had problems with travelling to their opponent's range, so the Association allowed them to hold postal matches instead with appointed neutral range officers to oversee the matches.

Nottingham Evening Post, Wednesday, 13 May 1908.


The Executive of the Notts. Miniature Rifle Association has decided to allow Wiseton and Stanley Works, Newark, who are drawn to fire in the opening round of the Duke of Portland's Cup to fire a post match. This was on the application of Wiseton.

Mansfield also were successful in being allowed to shoot a post match instead of travelling to Newark Castle Brewery in the same competition.

Mr. S.C. Wilkins has resigned his seat on the County Executive, and his place has been given to Mr. G.F. Fawcett, his successor in the secretaryship of the Newark and District League.

The first round matches had been arranged for May 16th and the Evening Post ran a preview of the arrangements the day before.

Nottingham Evening Post, Friday, 15 May 1908.



The matches in connection with the first round of the Duke of Portand's Cup will be fired tomorrow afternoon, and some interesting shooting will be witnessed. In the first round there are six matches, viz. two in North Notts. and four in South Notts. In the Northern Division the four teams have been allowed to shoot post matches, but a neutral range officer has been appointed by the Executive Committee of the Nottinghamshire Civilian and Miniature Rifle Association to witness the firing of each team. The following is a list of the matches, together with the range officers:–


Stanley Works v. Wiseton (post match) - Mr. E.D. Petford of Boots Athletic Rifle Club, will officiate at Newark, and Mr. A.E. Crabtree of Retford Rifle Club will be the range officer at Wiseton.

Castle Brewery (Newark) v. Mansfield (post match) - Mr. T. Mills of Kirkby-in-Ashfield will witness the shoot at Mansfield, and Mr. A. Darcy of Newark Town will officiate on the Castle Brewery Range.


Radcliffe v. Sneinton - At Radcliffe-on-Trent, Range officer, Mr E.H. Goddard, Carrington R.C.
Constitutional Club v. St. Thomas's - At Jardine's Range Basford. Range officer, Mr. W.W. Young, Jardine's R.C.
Boots Athletic A Team v. Lowdham. - At Lady Bay. Range officer Mr. A.E. Mee, Mapperley R.C.
Notts. Civilians v. Carrington. - At Mapperley. Range officer, Captain W.H. Newham, Municipal Officers' R.C.

The first round was shot on Saturday, May 16th, and the Evening Post carried the results on the Monday following.

There were two matches in the northern section and four in the southern one, and full details of all scores were published.

Nottingham Evening Post, Monday, 18 May 1908.



The first competition of for the challenge cup presented to the newly-formed County Association of Civilian and Miniature Rifle Clubs by its president, the Duke of Portland, was inaugurated on Saturday, when the initial round was shot. The weather during the afternoon was beautifully fine. The following are the results:-


Newark Stanley Works v. Wiseton
In this tie the executive sanctioned a post match. Scores:–

Stanley Works      Wiseton   
W.T. Jones (captain)89W.R. Martin77
C. Anderson85A. Athey77
S.F. Fawcett82C Harwood79
S. Whiteley57F. Lipop78
T. Ferwood87T. Darwin75
A. Graveney81E.A. Statham85
F. Drewery88J. Hamlet88
F. Sarney89A. Chappell66

Mansfield v. Newark Castle Brewery
This was also a post match. Details:–

Mansfield   Castle Brewery, Newark
T. Bowman 96 H. Flower 88
E.A. Champion 84 S.C. Wilkins 80
W. Goodley 93H.A. Shelbourne 80
G. Hind 88 F.J. Short 78
W. Smith 85 J.W. Tandy 74
P.H. Middleton 88 S. Green 73
W. Ellis 84 S. Kirk 69
J.D. Warner 95 T. Cricket 64
Total 713 Total 606


Notts. Civilians v. Carrington
Fired on the Mapperley R.C. range. Details:–

Notts Civilians   Carrington   
C.C. Elbourne 96 F. Housley 85
H. Roescher 90 R. Bavin 83
H Tomkins 95 F. Skerritt 95
T. Warsop 94 J. Astle 83
J.T. Radford 89 S. Hoskins 84
A.E.Sutton (captain) 95 H. Oldershaw 87
C. Noble 84 B.R.Smedley 89
H.S. Barsndale 89 H. Ford 88
Total 734 Total 704

Boots Athletic A v. Lowdham
Shot on Boots Athletic range, Lady Bay. Details:–

Boots Athletic A   Lowdham   
T.F. Revell 88 J.D. Pearson 86
J. Boyce 93 R. Whiston 92
W.G. Hooke 85 S. Cammock 79
J.C. Hibbert 91 G. Ulyett 91
A. Thompson 88 A. Parr 86
G. Fischer 90 Elmitt 69
R. Pearce 84 J.C. Belton 94
A. Rowe 97 J. Simpson 81
Total 716 Total 678

Constitutional Club v. St. Thomas's.
On Jardine's R.C. range, Basford. Details:–

Constitutional ClubSt. Thomas's.   
F.G. Wright 93 W. Harrison 94
I. Clifton 90 J.C. Lazonby 96
H.W. Davis 87 E.C.Rix 81
S.H. Page 93 F. Hind 68
H.C. Wright 82 P.V. Westling 53
G.H. Stubington 79 J. Stubings 83
H.C. Sheldon 79 H.E. Hart 86
W.J. Hodgson 91 L.J. Honor 87
Total 684 Total 649

Radcliffe v. Sneinton.
At Radcliffe-on-Trent. Details:–

Radcliffe   Sneinton   
F.P. Holmes 96R.E. Purden 97
W. Dyson 93 F. Robinson 93
A.E. Rushton 88 G. Collier 92
J. Blatherwisk 87 T. Thorpe 91
E. Rockley 86 H. Plant 91
H. Gibson 85 R. Barry 87
F. Upton 85 E. Stevenson 85
J. Dyson 82 A. Searby 83
Total 702 Total 719

With the number of teams reduced to eight in each section, the Association's executive committee met on May 20th to hold the draw for the second round, which was to be shot on June 20th. The draw for the third round was set for June 24th.

However, as we see in the next report, the 20th coincided with the Nottinghamshire Rifle Association's Annual Prize Match to be held at Trent Range, and the southern section clubs were allowed to shoot a week later than the northern clubs.

This delay would have postponed the third round draw. No report of this draw was found in the newspaper records, which seems quite surprising given the amount of interest being shown in the competition at this stage. The next report covered the third round shooting in the southern section; but only with details of one match.

Nottingham Evening Post, Thursday, 21 May 1908.


Draw for the Duke of Portland's Cup.
The Astor Cup Times.

A meeting of the executive committee of the Nottinghamshire Association of Civilian and Miniature Rifle Clubs was held last evening at the Mechanics' Institution, Nottingham, Mr. Sutton (Notts. Civilians) presiding.

The scores in connection with the first round of the Duke of Portland's Cup were accepted as sent in by the range officers.
The draw for the second round of this competition was then made as follows:–

North Notts

Mansfield v. Newark Town
Retford C Team v. Retford A team
Kirkby v. Stanley Works
Retford B Team v. Southwell

South Notts

Boots A Team v. Constitutional Club
Jardine's v. Sneinton
Beeston v. Boots B Team
Notts. Civilians v. Mapperley

The round will be fired on June 20th and all matches must start by 3.30 pm at the latest. Any application for permission to fire a post match must be sent in by June 1st.


The ballot for the times of shooting in the Astor Cup competition on June 13th on the Mapperley R.C. range resulted as follows:–

1.50 Boots Athletic
2.10 Jardine's and Constitutional Club
2.50 Notts Civilians and Carrington
3.30 Southwell and Stanley Works (Newark)
4.10 Mansfield and Newark Town
4.50 Radcliffe and Retford
5.30 Burton Joyce and Lowdham
6.10 Mapperley and Sneinton

It was resolved that all clubs should have to fire at the time allotted, and each club must be prepared with four rifles in order that four of the team may lie down at a time. Each club is to furnish one marker. Mr. D.J. Jardine, Capt. Hanson, Capt. Payne, and Quartermaster-Sergt. Comery are to be asked to act as range officers. In the event of a protest the team making it will have to deposit 2s. 6d.. The dispute will be settled by the range officers whose decision shall be final, and if the protest is upheld the fee will be refunded, otherwise it will be forfeited.

The next ordinary meeting of the executive was fixed for June 24th, when the draw for the third round of the Duke of Portland's Cup will be made.

Extra time is allowed for the southern clubs to shoot their matches after the Nottinghamshire Rifle Association Annual Match clashed with the originally intended date for shooting.

Nottingham Evening Post, Friday, 19 June 1908.



The second round of the Duke of Portland's Cup, open to miniature rifle clubs forming the Nottinghamshire Miniature Rifle Association, was fixed for to-morrow, but owing to the date clashing with the meeting of the Notts. Rifle Association the teams in the southern division of the county will fire their matches a week later. The Northern clubs, however, will shoot as arranged, the matches and the range officers being:–
Mansfield v. Newark Town (post match): Mansfield, Mr. Greensmith, Kirkby; Newark Town, Mr. Calthorp, Retford.
Retford C v. Retford A - Retford C intend to scratch.
Kirkby-in-Ashfield v. Stanley Works, Newark: Kirkby, an officer from Mansfield; Stanley Works, Mr.Ricketts, of Southwell.
Retford B v. Southwell: Retford, Mr. D'Arcy, Newark; Southwell, Mr. Fawcett, Stanley Works.

The delayed third round southern clubs' matches were shot on July 11th and that evening's paper carried the result of one of the matches only, the others presumably finishing after the paper went to press.

Nottingham Evening Post, Saturday, 11 July 1908.



The southern clubs in the Duke of Portland's Cup shot their third round matches this afternoon with the following result:–

At Basford. Scores:–

Jardine'sBoots B
J Hildyard 99 J.W. Wright 95
H. Montgomery 96 H.O. Rowe 94
J. Harrison 95 W. Monks 87
W. Wallis 93 F. Freer, jun. 87
F. Rostance 92 N.L. Whittaker 84
J. Smart 91 G. Tomlinson 85
J. Pendry 90 J. Hunt 83
W. Crosland 85 F. Freer, sen. 82
Total 741 Total 697

The Executive Committee of the Notts. Civilian and Miniature Rifle Association met to arrange the shooting of the semi-final and final rounds of the Portland Cup, both of which were to take place at the Lowdham range starting at 2.30pm with the final immediately following the semi-finals.

Nottingham Evening Post, Thursday, 30 July 1908.


At last evening's meeting of the council and Executive Committee of the Nottinghamshire Civilian and Miniature Rifle Association, held at the Mechanic's Institution, Nottingham, it was arranged that the semi-finals and the final of the Duke of Portland's Cup should be fired on the same day on neutral range.

Mr. Tyler's offer of the Lowdham range for the purpose was accepted with the thanks of the association. Saturday, August 16th, was chosen as the date. The shooting is to commence at 2.30, and no practice will be allowed. The draw for the semi-final was:- Southwell v. Jardine's; Mapperley v. Newark Town.

The winners of the respective ties will shoot in the final immediately afterwards. Mr. T.F. Revell and Mr. J.T. Radford were appointed range officers, with others to be chosen later.

It was decided to postpone the starting of the new postal league, and arrange to commence at the opening of the next season. This was thought advisable because so many of the clubs for whom the proposed league was primarily intended were unable to join late in the season owing to their friendly engagements.

The reporting of the semi-finals and final was spread over two editions of the Nottingham Evening Post. The first report on the day of the match only carried the details of the first semi-final. The second report was published on the Monday following.

The first semi-final was between the southern section club Jardines' and the northern section club Southwell, and resulted in a win for Jardines' by 733 to 710.

The second semi-final was between Newark Town from the northern section and Mapperley from the southern section. It was shot next with Newark Town being the winner. The result was too late to meet that evening's edition of the paper.

Nottingham Evening Post, Saturday, 15 Aug 1908.



The final stages of the first competition for the Duke of Portland's Challenge Cup, open to clubs affiliated to the Nottinghamshire Association, were reached on the range of the Lowdham R.C. this afternoon.

The cup was given at the beginning of the season by the Duke of Portland, the president of the newly-formed Nottingham Association, to further the work of organising miniature rifle shooting in the county, which the association was formed to take in hand. It was mainly through his Grace's initiative and interest that the association came into being. The cup was to be shot for by teams of eight. Of whom not more than three may be active members of his Majesty's forces. The conditions are ten shots on S.M.R.C. duplicate decimal targets at 25 yards range.

There were 24 entries, and the teams were separated in a northern and a southern division, and the champions of the respective divisions, Southwell and Newark Town from North Notts., and Jardine's and Mapperley from South Notts., were drawn together in the semi-finals, which were fixed to take place on the Lowdham range to-day, the final following. The range officers appointed by the association were Messrs. Radford, Emmerson, and Sutton. The weather conditions were excellent, the light wind being good, while there was little wind.

The following were the scores:–

Jardine's Southwell
W. Barrow 92 E.A. Merryweather 85
F. Rostance 94 W. Saddington 91
J. Hendry 90 C.W. Kirk 93
J. Harrison 91 J.B. Beeson 85
H.J. Montgomery 83 A. Brown 86
J. Smart 92 J.R.Ricketts 81
J. Hillyard 97 Stafford 94
W. Wallis 94 J. Keatley 93
Total 733 Total 710

On the Monday following the match, the Nottingham Evening Post carried a report on the final. The scoring was apparently very close right up to the final detail, when the last pair for Newark proved much better than the last two from Jardines'. The Newark team produced the best aggregate score of the day's totals for the final and were undoubtedly proud of their achievement in the inaugural competition for the Duke of Portland's Challenge Cup.

The Jardine's team scores in the final are as reported by the newspaper. There is an obvious mistake with J. Smart being listed twice and H.J. Montgomery being omitted. The total does not match the individual scores; but it may be correct.

No report has been found of the proposed dinner at which the Cup was to be presented.

Nottingham Evening Post, Monday, 17 August 1908.




The final stages of the first competition for the Duke of Portland's Challenge Cup produced an interesting contest at Lowdham on Saturday. North and South were drawn against each other in each of the semi-finals, and the final, too, was a struggle between the two divisions. The final match was more interesting than the score would indicate, for when the last pairs went to the firing point Jardine's were only two points behind their opponents. Newark finished strongly, and won the trophy after a very creditable shoot. Their winning aggregate was the best of the afternoon, and was the outcome of a consistent effort, all the scores being between 91 and 96. The best individual performance of the day was the shooting of G. Clewes, a member of the victorious team, who is only about 20 years of age. He made the best total of the day in their semi-final tie, one short of a "possible", and was top scorer with Hendry, of Jardine's, in the final with 96. It is understood that the cup will be presented to Newark Town at a dinner of the Nottinghamshire Association. The following are the scores in the final:–

Newark TownJardine's
W. Clewes 91 W. Barrow 95
L. Smith 92 R. Rostance 89
J.C. Gill 94 J. Hendry 96
J.W. Whittaker 93 J. Harrison 95
M. Shea 93 J. Smart 94
G. Clewes 96 W. Wallis 83
H. Powell 93 J. Hillyard 84
C.F. Brownlow 95 J. Smart 94
Total 747 Total 729

Transcripts from Nottingham Evening Post 1908
British Library Newspaper Archive