The National

The History

In 1864, a “Rifle Conference” was held in London under much publicity. One of the outcomes of the conference was the establishment of what was originally known as the International Enfield Match for teams of English and Scottish volunteers. The first match was shot at Wimbledon in July 1864. After this occasion, invitations to design a trophy resulted in 22 entries. The winning design (shown opposite) was submitted by Messrs Elkington & Co. designed by their artist Mr Auguste Wilms.

The following year, 1865, an Irish team was admitted to compete and they have done so on almost all occasions since. From 1877 to 1879, Scotland abstained from competing in protest to the match being held at Wimbledon. In 1879, new rules were introduced that the match would be shot at Wimbledon except when won at Wimbledon when the captain of the team would be entitled to hold the match in their country. At this time, the Welsh were invited to join the competition and they first shot in 1881.

England have won the majority of matches including 36 consecutive victories between 1966 and 2001. In recent years the match has been more competitive with Ireland’s first win in 2002 and a Scottish double in 2010 and 2011. Wales broke their record at every distance in the match to emerge victorious for the first time in 2016 with a score of 2084 and 298 v-bulls.

The record score for the match is held by Nick Hinchliffe’s England team who scored 2087 with 278 v-bulls (out of 2100 with 420 v-bulls) in 2014. The highest individual score is a perfect 105 with 21 v-bulls by David Luckman (England) in 2010.

Match Conditions

The National match is shot for by a team from England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales each with 20 firers on 5 targets. Each shooter fires 1 sighter and 7 shots to count at 300, 500 and 600 yards. As mentioned above, the match is now held at Bisley but a winning team captain is entitled to hold the match in their own country as Ireland did in 2003.

Previous Winners (up to end 2017)

Country Number of wins
England 108
Scotland 43
Ireland 1
Wales 1