Club members were in action both on and off the island at the weekend. Three of the younger members travelled to Lilleshall in England to compete at the Junior National Outdoor Championships (JNOC); while a handful of Senior archers turned up at Greeba to take part in a Handicap round.
Day 1 of the Junior Nationals was devoted to a metric round with distances dependant upon age group.
The weather was not kind to the youngsters as it was cold and wet all day. Toby Young, shooting a Metric 1(70/60/50/30m) in the Gents u18’s, had been unable to practice much due to exam commitments and this took its toll on his score, but he stuck it out to finish in 11th place. Nathan Kinrade competing in the Gents u14’s Metric III (50/40/30/20m) had shown good form on home soil and this continued to be the case at Lilleshall. Despite never having shot the round before, Nathan’s score of 1064 bettered the, long-standing, Club Record of Alex Potts by 8 points, and secured him 8th place.
Tilly Ashton, the most experienced of the trio, started well in the u16 Ladies Metric III to lie in 8th place after the first dozen when disaster struck. A competitor on the waiting line accidently knocked over a bow resting on its stand, which caused a domino effect along the line with the last bow crashing into Tilly’s bending the sight bar and ring. Tilly did not realize that her bow had been affected until it was her turn to shoot and she had a miss. With the sight ring bent out of shape, all of Tilly’s sight marks were useless but without a replacement piece she had to make the best of things. Losing valuable points every time she changed distance, Tilly dropped to 26th place but dug deep to claw her way back to 17th place by the end of the day. Tilly finished with a JMB (Junior Master Bowman) score of 1152 which meant she had broken her own Club Record by 109 points.
Day 2 at Lilleshall was given over to Imperial rounds, again broken down by age group and was blessed by much better weather. The Bristol I round of the u18 Gents (80/60/50yards), proved a real challenge for Toby, who had only managed to get a sight mark for the longest distance the week before, and was shooting the round for the first time. A host of misses during the morning session did not dampen his enthusiasm or erode his sense of humour and he remained his usual laid back self to the end. Nathan Kinrade made the most of the sunshine to record a JMB score of 1083 for the u14 Gents Bristol III (50/40/30y) to break the Club Record he sat last week by 61 points and take 9th place on the day. As the number of competitors was more than double that of the previous day’s Metric III Nathan did relatively better on the Sunday. Having to break in a new sight bar/ring did Tilly no favours and she found herself in 32nd place in the u16 Ladies Bristol III after the first dozen. With no coaching allowed Tilly sorted the problems herself and, in spite of blistered fingers, had pulled herself up to 22nd by the lunch break and finished in 18th by the end of the day. Her total of 1054 was another JMB score and a Club Record. The children were, as always, a credit to the Club and the Island.
Meanwhile at Greeba, Rhys Moore, Danny Cowin, Billy Lightfoot, Jane Berry and Barbara Harris turned up to shoot a WA 1440 (90/70/50/30m for the Gents, 70/60/50/30m for the Ladies). Junior archer James Hill turned up for the morning session and shot a Long Metric I (70&60m), with all rounds part of the Club’s Handicap League. James Hill did well in scratch terms to add 37 points to his pb for the round and take second place overall after the handicap was applied. Jane Berry had a miss at 70m before settling nicely and looked to be on for a personal best score until her first two arrows at 60m missed the boss completely. It was only when she checked her sight mark for the third time that Jane realized she had dialled in her 60 yards sight mark instead of her 60m one. Jane was a little disappointed with her score, but it was still good enough for third place after handicapping. Barbara Harris shot her worst 50m of the season but still managed to take both the scratch honours in the Ladies Recurve and the overall win after the handicap was applied. Danny Cowin struggled at 90m but began to show some form over the other distances but had to settle for last place after the handicap was applied. The most exciting match in scratch terms came in the Gents Compound division with a face off between Rhys Moore and Billy Lightfoot. A miss by Billy as he was coming down off a shot at 90m handed Rhys a 13 point lead after the first distance, and he was still ahead by 12 points at lunchtime. At 50m Billy put in some excellent arrows and this coupled with an errant 5 from Rhys saw the deficit cut to 5 points going into the final distance. Back to back dozen totals of 115 from Billy put him within 2 points, and, with the rules of shooting, if he could even the score, Billy would win on countback by virtue of having more x’s than Rhys. With six arrows left Billy was still 2 points behind, but when Rhys shot first and could only manage 58 out of 60 possible points, Billy still had a chance to tie the scores. Billy’s first three arrows went into the x (the inner ring of the 10), his next two arrows were ordinary 10’s, and there was just 1 point between him and scratch honours. Billy took careful aim and sent his final arrow into the 9! Rhys claimed victory by a single point, much to his delight, though Billy finished above Rhys after the handicap was applied.
Results Metric Handicap- 1.B.Harris 1450 (143/1135/25/7), 2.J.Hill 1446 (70/415/1/0)pb, 3.J.Berry 1415 (141/970/8/4), 4.B.Lightfoot 1403 (143/1274/48/21), 5.R.Moore 1375 (144/1275/43/13), 6.D.Cowin 1316 (142/959/10/2).