Pulling Strings

Omar Al-Mushadani

Once again the Cambridge archery team proved their mettle against the dark blues of Oxford in an overpowering demonstration of nerves and skill. The Oxford team could only hope their home advantage would provide them with some respite from the ensuing onslaught. As it turned out, the 52nd Varsity match turned into a rout as arrow-by-arrow the light blues found their mark. The tranquil setting of the University Parks belied the battle that raged for three long hours. With only a light breeze ruffling through the trees the Cambridge team moved into high gear to make the best of the near perfect conditions. Record scores from Andy Somers (922) and James Keogh (914) ensured an unprecedented victory by over 500 points. Only the valiant efforts of Catherine Roberts (777) prevented the Cambridge team from beating every single score of the dark blues. James Pawley (832) recovered from a poor early start at 80 yards to regain form as the teams moved closer to the targets in the later stages. Oxford's misery was further compounded by the Machiavellian presence of Omar Al-Mushadani (740), one of their former members, in the Cambridge line-up. This act of betrayal was rewarded with a half blue and served to rub salt into Oxford's open wounds. This tale of battle and legend was completed by the thunderous looses of Grahame Appleby demonstrating the art of a seasoned bowmen with his Mongolian recurve. Like Genghis Khan centuries ago, Cambridge swept across the field with irresistible force.

Attention now turns to the BUSA Outdoors Archery Championship where the English archers face a stiff competition for victory against the Scots of Edinburgh University.

(Varsity, 15/06/2001)