The skies were overcast at Greeba for the Senior Club Championships, but the conditions were hot and humid. It was wet underfoot after the overnight rain and at least two archers discovered that the shoes they thought were waterproof were nothing of the kind and squelched their way through the day’s proceedings. The Championships are based on the WA 1440 round, three dozen arrows at each of four distances – 90/70/50/30m for the Gents and 70/60/50/30m for the Ladies.
Defending Ladies Compound Champion Joy Gough as usual found herself unopposed on the shooting line. This was perhaps fortunate as Joy had enjoyed a late night out the previous evening and was feeling rather tired. The shoot turned into something of a grind and Joy, while never being anything other than her usual cheery self, was glad when it was over.
The Gents Compound provided the largest field of the day with four competitors – Rhys Moore, Pete Mumford, Dave Moore and Billy Lightfoot vying for the Trophy. Billy Lightfoot had come out of the semi-retirement of Port St Mary and found his way to the field for the only the sixth time this season. Pete Mumford who had lowered the poundage on his bow, wound it back up again to shoot his first Gents WA 1440 round of the season and soon wished he hadn’t. His under par 90m put him firmly into fourth place, the fact that he shot the joint highest score at 30m provided some consolation. Dave Moore likewise scuppered his title hopes at the first distance and had too settle for third place. The fight for the silverware was more-or-less a shootout between veteran Billy Lightfoot and young gun Rhys Moore. Both men got off to a good start, with Rhys just edging it to take an 8 point lead after 90m. Billy then pulled a point back at 70m and it was all still in the balance going into the afternoon session. Unfortunately for Billy he lost focus at 50m – literally as his glasses steamed up in the heat, and Rhys pulled away from him. Lightfoot bounced back at 30m to put in a season’s best score that was just 7 points below his pb but Rhys took the win by a clear 26 points.
For the first time in three years Barbara Harris found herself with some competition in the Ladies Recurve Championship in the form of Jane Berry. Jane, who is in her first season outdoors, has had a remarkable year and Barbara knew the match would not be a walkover. A poor start by Jane, made worse by her husband Dave adjusting her sight in the wrong direction, coupled with a solid 70m from Barbara, allowed Harris to open up a 62 point lead. Barbara added another 10 points at 60m to give herself a 72 point cushion going into the afternoon session. It was just as well for Harris, as the sun came out in the afternoon and the already high temperatures became unbearable. Barbara, who is particularly susceptible to the heat, resorted to dousing herself with water to stay cool, but a miss at 50m was indicative of her discomfort. Jane Berry however had found her range and outshot Harris by 1 point at 50m then shot up a storm at 30m, averaging 105 points per dozen arrows to Barbara’s 95 per dozen. Jane added 41 points to her pb for the round to break the 1000 barrier for the first time. In spite of her poor showing over the shorter distances, Barbara put in her second highest total of the season to retain her title.
The Gents Recurve Championship was a face off between Dave Berry and defending Champion Danny Cowin. Danny has struggled with his form throughout the season and Dave fancied his chances, but it was not to be. Danny shot a solid 90m for the first time this year to open up a 48 point lead. By the end of the second distance Cowin had extended his lead to 65 points. Dave refuelled at the break from a fetching lunch bag covered with hearts. This was much admired by his fellow club members, especially Billy Lightfoot whose significant other has promised to buy him one with dolphins on it. Whatever Dave ate had no effect on his performance, while Danny never lost focus. By the end of 50m Danny was 106 points ahead with his favourite distance still to come. An apparently effortless 30m saw Danny seal victory by 144 points to record a season’s best score and retain the Trophy in style.
Results IoMAC Club Championships: Ladies Compound – J.Gough 143/1227/33/11. Gents Compound – 1.R.Moore 144/1322/54/21, 2.B.Lightfoot 144/1296/21/13sb, 3.D.Moore 143/1264/49/22, 4.P.Mumford 144/1225/40/15sb. Ladies Recurve – 1.B.Harris 143/1060/12/2, 2.J.Berry 143/1018/10/3pb. Gents Recurve – 1.D.Cowin 144/1065/16/3sb, 2.D.Berry 138/921/5/4.