BUCS Outdoors 2015 Match Report

Tom Bott - LUAC Captain

Saturday – 13th June

Archers awoke early on the Saturday, to the same torrential rain they had fallen asleep to late on Friday night. The patter and dripping sounds were to be the soundtrack to the entire day; the rain managed to maintain it onslaught well into the late afternoon and early evening. The only comprise the weather made was the wind with it remaining strangely calm. Eleven archers took to the field to compete: the team’s numbers limited due to the over-subscription of the event, forcing the squad to drop ten archers before the event even started. The archers pulled themselves together, mentally and physically, to complete a gruelling near twelve hour day in the terrible conditions. The round on Saturday was a WA1440. This consists of 144 arrows over four distances, these differ depending upon experience and gender.

The novice archers handled the conditions well. The novice team, consisting of Jay Tserkezie, Dom Belcher and Yasin Desai, managed to place an excellent fourth despite some tiredness and morale issues as the final distance began. Jay managing to place third as an individual: the first BUCS medal won by LUAC in several years. Jack Keates and Emma Hay also took part in the novice event. Jack sadly had to retire early into the third distance, with a shoulder injury. Emma managed to complete the round with a good score, an impressive feat for someone who only starting shooting at Easter.

With the seniors the teams are split by gender. The female team managed a superb fifth, with Laura Hodgkinson, Kirsty Falcus and Gemma Ainsworth producing the scores that made up the aggregate. Also shooting for Lancaster was Kate Stormwed, who shot very well despite the difficult conditions. With some more training and experience, this group of four could easily move into the top three teams; no doubt the shooting over the weekend will help them on this road.

LUAC chose not to enter a senior male team and instead used the final places available to enter two compound archers. Tom Wilson and Ellie Hayward-Stott shot in the senior compound sections. Both shot well and dealt with the weather well. The experience will help them in future competitions.

Overall, despite the dismal weather the day produced some excellent results proving that LUAC has great promise in the next couple of years. With a new coach, a good team ethos and talented archers LUAC may become the dark horse of next year’s BUCS.

Sunday – 14th June

The event on Sunday is not part of the BUCS calendar so no points are available to be won. That said it is organised by BUCS and only open to students. The round was identical for most archers: a WA720 which involves 72 arrows at 70m. This seeds the archers for the afternoon event which a head to head round, again at 70m.

The weather was greatly improved by the Sunday, producing almost perfect conditions. The rain had eased and at points archers were treated to bright sunshine. Again the wind was calm. In all the day was an excellent opportunity to produce new personal bests. LUAC had fifteen archers on the field competing. Most of them tired from the day before and the late night which arose after the group minibus got locked in carpark which proclaimed it was open 24hrs a day but wasn’t.

The initial WA720 round went without much drama. Matt McCormack came eighth in the gents recurve section and Laura Hodgkinson placing eleventh in the female recurve section. The head to head produced an interesting match with Gemma Ainsworth and Kirsty Falcus drawn against each other; Kirsty winning the match, after a close battle leaving the final score 6-2. Kirsty was then knocked out in her next match 2-6. Laura managed to make it to round three before being knocked out 2:6, this left her joint ninth.  Matt McCormack made it into the fourth round before being knocked out in straight sets leaving him joint ninth. One compound archer took to the field, Matt Blair (who shot a WA720 at 50m). Matt was knocked out in the first round losing by only six points (130-136).

In all the event was enjoyed by all who took part. It provided an excellent opportunity for the archers to gain experience and grow in confidence. Hopefully the lessons learnt will be shown in next year’s results LUAC will return with some quiver bling.