We Few, We Happy Few …
Competitive archery is something that not all archers, even the experienced, try. Perhaps its a bit too stressful. Perhaps archery is their calm place where they can get away from things/people. Newer archers may even not know of its existence. And then … there are the dribbly competitive types. Glasgow has a few of them and Sunday November 12th, a group of them headed south. Destination – The Ayrshire League Stage 1.
The round being shot that Sunday was a Portsmouth. 60 arrows shot at 20 yards on 60cm faces. A less stressful round than the Bray1/WA18 and Ayr do not run a tight competition. They prefer to be a little more laid back than is normal. Its relax city man! However, if chasing scores, you need to stay focused. What’s required for classifications and medals tends to be a bit higher in this round meaning its in no way “easier” and needs good focus not to drop a lot of silly points.
So, led by Scott – team manager, motivational speaker and comedy interlude – GA was sending a team to shoot as guests in this long established event. The majority of the squad was scheduled to shoot in the afternoon but as a sample of the horrors to come, we sent a Herald of Approaching Doom to the morning session to spread fear and awe in the enemy’s ranks.
(Ok, Oksana had previous commitments and could only make the AM session but the herald thing sounded good.)
The afternoon folks started arriving just as Oksana was finishing her brutal battering of the 10 ring. OP had put up some good numbers (567) so the pressure was on the afternoon squad to give her support. We were looking for a good showing to take the visiting team medal. It needed 4 good scores and we had the first from Oksana. With just minutes to go, Scott gave his speech to rally the team. In full Churchillian mode, his inspiring address brought the team to a fever pitch. To record those words for posterity, we’d like to print his entire speech here:
“Just shoot Golds!”
Fully psyched up, the team was ready to rock. The next two plus hours were filled with whistles, 3 arrow ends, scoring, banter and some very dodgy sounding laughing coming from Geo’s target 10. There was far too much fun going on down that end of the hall – Stop it, this is serious competitive archery! While its best to ask the individual archers what happened on their targets, a few of the memorable moments were Geo starting off with a hot hand – X X 10 – which was his first competitive end of archery since early 2016. Hannah had a “bad” shot which murdered the 10 ring. Scott shot through the clicker more than once but seemingly that doesn’t affect his score or fletches and finally, Mr “often stuck on the clicker” Strang shot a perfect final 6 arrows to unnerve a target partner and close out the competition in style.
Once the tedious arithmetic was over and the scoresheets submitted … it was time to relax, goss and kill time till prize giving.
Half hour later, picking up a gold medal was Dave Cawdron – barebow exponent and jaunty hat wearer. Even though this was a team competition, Longbow and Barebow can get individual prizes as they are unlikely to challenge the other bow types for highest score. We had officially borrowed Dave for the day from EK (actually they said “PLEASE take him”) and he was shooting as one of us with the approval of AGB. It seems we suit him!
As hoped Glasgow took the visitors team medal with solid performances from Scott, Geo and John supporting our ace, Oksana but the real shock was to come. GA had beaten the winners of the League team medal (Ayr). They had their entire club … GA had but we happy few! Congrats to the entire squad for going down to Ayr and acquitting themselves well although we fear, after that showing, we might not be asked back! :o)
Concluding this horribly unfair and bias retelling of Sundays events ;o) .. Glasgow Archers would like to thank Ayr Archers for allowing us to visit and for making us feel welcome. It was a privilege to be part of the 60+ archers taking part in the days shootie. In turn we would like to apologise for whatever was going on on target 10 that caused all the laughing.
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Team GA was …………. Oksana (the enforcer), Scott (dear leader), Geo (in charge of inter club relations), John (Mr Perfect at least for 6 arrows), the very cheery Hannah, Catherine, choked with the cold Duncan and our ringer from EK .. Mr D Cawdron Esc. (merc for hire).