A team from Ellesmere College has lifted a national pistol shooting title – a record fourth success in as many years for the Shropshire school.

The win at the national final of the British Shooting Schools Pistol Championships follows on from impressive showings by the three students both individually and as a team at the regional championships at the end of last year.

Tom Rylands, Ellesmere College Academy Coach, said Francine Gilmore, Chris Astbury and Ollie Loud shot brilliantly to lift the National Senior title against very strong opposition which included some of the top GB Juniors.

“It was a great achievement and marks quite a milestone for the college with it being the fourth consecutive year that Ellesmere have won this trophy, with different shooters along the way – a feat that no other school has ever achieved,” he said.

“Interestingly, there is a family link in the team make-up as Ed Astbury featured in three previous teams and his brother Chris was part of the successful threesome this year! Francine also made the individual final this time around, shooting very well to finish with a bronze medal, and Ollie just missed out in ninth place.

“For Ellesmere College to have two students in the top 10 nationally is a real credit to the school. All three students have performed at a high standard throughout the regional and national rounds and should be very proud of their efforts.

“It emphasises the strength of talent we have at the college and also recognises the quality of coaching available to students involved in the sport – cementing our position as one of the leading schools in the country.”

Back in November, Francine, Christopher and Oliver teamed up to take first place at the West Midlands and North West Championships to earn a place in the national finals, with all three also qualifying for the national individual finals.

A team of fellow Ellesmere College students Bea Taylor, Joshua Norris and Harry Taylor took third place in the same regional team competition.

Francine had been ranked ninth nationally in her category while Christopher and Oliver had been ranked 19th and 23rd respectively out of more than 100 competitors heading into the national championships.

The students, who are between year 11 and 13 at Ellesmere College, complete their studies alongside a training schedule of two to three days a week in the school’s Shooting Academy facilities.

For more information, please visit Ellesmere College Shooting Academy.

Ellesmere College shooting team.

Ellesmere College Academy Coach Tom Rylands. Oliver Loud, Francine Gilmore and Chris Astbury.

Individual podium with left to right: Sasha Mikhailov (Cardiff High) 1st, Katie Markworth (Haberdashers’ Adams) 2nd and Francine Gilmore (Ellesmere College) in 3rd.