The old guard were joined by some of the newer club members for the last Portsmouth round of January. Eleven archers shot over the course of the day which was packed with the usual levels of incident, banter, and fierce competition.
With Rhys Moore devoting his energies to the All-Island Snooker Competition, the Gents Compound division was wide open, and everyone was keen to take advantage of Rhys’ absence. Pete Mumford, John Angiolini, Dave Moore, Cliff Graves, and Colin Moore took to the shooting line aiming for a rare chance of victory. John Angiolini, who has recently come over from Field Archery, was more concerned about getting his head around the different score sheets of Target archery and hoping that the Records Officer wouldn’t be too brutal about him in print. He and Colin Moore got off to the best start with both men tied on 112 after the first dozen. Thereafter John’s shooting remained remarkably consistent, but he just couldn’t quite find the centre of the target and he had to settle for fifth place. Colin maintained his lead until the halfway point. The comfort break at half time did him no favours. The interruption to Colin’s flow allowed Pete Mumford to draw level and Cliff Graves to take the lead. Pete and Colin remained tied until the last six arrows when Pete’s trademark ‘Big Finish’ kicked in and he managed to secure second place. Cliff Graves managed to edge the odd point here and there to maintain his lead and claim victory. Only four points separated the top three men.
Joy Gough had been forced to pull out of last week’s competition with a shoulder injury but this week she took the precaution of taking some pain killers before she started. Joy certainly seemed in better form, and she opened up a 4 point lead over Rose Sandilands. Going into the last dozen Joy had a 6 point lead and victory looked certain but archery is never that simple. Joy suddenly lost the centre slipping out of the 10’s altogether and straying into the 8’s. Rose, after a slow start, remained rock solid. With six arrows to go Joy’s lead had been cut to just 3 points. With three arrows left Joy was just 1 point ahead. Both women then shot identical scores with their last three arrows and Joy hung on to take the win by the slimmest of margins.
Where the Gents Recurve used to provide the largest field of the day, it now represents the smallest with just one archer in evidence. Peter Howland started reasonably well but he seemed to, in his words, ‘run out of steam’ towards the end. He was also exasperated by his tendency to bang in two 10’s and then follow them up with a 7 which undermined his score.
For the first time in several years there were three ladies on the shooting line in the women’s Recurve division: Barbara Harris, Sarah Kennedy and Maria J. Esquivel. Sarah Kennedy was much happier back in the familiar territory of the Portsmouth having not enjoyed last week’s Worcester. Pete Mumford wound a bit of weight onto her bow before she started which gave Sarah something to push against. This consequently enabled her to keep the bow steadier with the result that she added 40 points to her pb for the round. Maria J. Esquivel was shooting for the first time on a Sunday and, as she was still looking for her a bow of her own, was using one of the Club bows without any stabilization. This made for less than accurate shooting, but it was still a pb for her at the Club and the only way is up. Barbara Harris, shoulder taped up, got off to a terrific start dropping just 6 points over her first dozen arrows. The next dozen was not so good. Barbara had some terrific groups, but they were dropping low into the 8’s. She kept adjusting her sight, the arrows would go back into the middle before dropping low again in the next end. Barbara put it down to slouching, or not finishing the shot properly, or forward releasing, or not maintaining her shape on the follow through. Her dozen totals got lower and lower. Barbara became increasingly frustrated as she produced beautiful groups but in the wrong place. It was not until the 57th of the day that Barbara, after executing the most perfect shot of her life and watching it go low into the black realized that the problem lay with the bow and not her. Upon investigation she discovered that the arm of her arrow rest had given way. An equipment failure was called, the broken arm replaced, and the final two arrows of the morning were shot. Barbara still took the win and unbelievably still shot the highest Recurve score of the day.
In the afternoon session Pete Mumford switched to Barebow and secured victory in that division even though he put one arrow so wide he hit the ballistic netting behind the bosses. Pete’s victory was a result of his relaxed shooting style and the fact that he was the only competitor.
Results Portsmouth: Gents Compound- 1.C.Graves 60/560/19, 2.P.Mumford 60/558/20, 3.C.Moore 60/556/19, 4.D.Moore 59/549/18, 5.J.Angiolini 60/544/8. Ladies Compound- 1.J.Gough 60/549/12, 2.R.Sandilands 60/548/12. Gents Recurve- P.Howland 60/506/11. Ladies Recurve- B.Harris 60/518/ 15, 2.S.Kennedy 60/465/2pb, 3.M.J.Esquivel 55/335/1pb. Gents Barebow- P.Mumford 59/437/5pb.