Bow-nus victory for Archers

Ian Caulfield

Two weeks before the crushing defeat on the Thames, the Cambridge University Bowmen provided a reminder of Light Blue dominance at the BUSA Indoor championships. This year Edinburgh - the biggest threat to victory was on the enemy's home turf.

Representatives of 34 universities turned out to be the largest tournament of this kind after the National Championships. In total, nearly 300 archers took part, each with a strong desire to return home victorious. The event was split into two sessions, with Cambridge and the other main contenders for the title taking the morning slot. The need to get up early appeared not to suit them at first, for it took them quite a while to rise to the challenge. The shooting commenced and Edinburgh took an early lead, maintained through to the third (of five) dozen shots, with Oxford not far behind them. Having passed the halfway point, facing defeat by their archrivals, or even the unthinkable outcome of taking bronze behind the Dark Blus scrouge, the Cambridge side pulled themselves together, taking the lead right at the last moment. Team members Chris Cowburn and Victor Yung -despite each of them being relatively new to the sport - put in personal best scores, with Cowburn taking fifth place in the individual rankings. Old hands Andrew Somers and James Pawley put in sound performances to give a team score of 2215, leaving Cambridge with a lead of seven points over the Scots at the end of the first session.

The lead was not necessarily enough, as a result, Cambridge then faced a nail-biting wait during the second session as a number of strong teams, including Imperial College, started to compete. As well as this, Edinburgh still had one competitor left, and were therfore in a position to be able to snatch the BUSA title. The squad did what any sensible group would do in the circumstances, and decided that they would relieve the tension over a pint (or several) in the local pub.

At last final results came in. Edinburgh had failed at their last chance for victory. Imperial managed a respectable fourth place, leaving the final placings as Oxford third with 2176, Edinburgh second on 2208 and Cambridge taking glorious victory for the second year runnning.

The success was not merely confined to the team event for in the individual rankings, Chris Cowburn came fifth with a score of 563 (out of a possible 600). He was closely followed by the veteran Andrew Somers who managed to take sixth place after finishing just a point behind on 562. Gold in the men's category went to formerly unknown Russell Tizzard-Varroe of Swansea Institute with 575. He was beaten however by ladies' champion Karen Atkins (Bath) with a new BUSA record of 579 - so things are not only moving forward at Cambridge. In the novice section Sarah Morgan received a bronze medal for personal best performance of 470. However no-one could contend with Imperial's novice contingent who took first place with Laura Borrer-Closs getting ladies' gold with an amazing 523, leaving the top gent in the dust - James Lowry of Dundee with 503.

This victorty just serves to prove that the Blues have managed to hold on to top form this year. Still to come is the Varsity match - being held on the 18th May at John's Backs. Oxford have shown that they will be a worthy adversary with their third place result. Top scorer for the Dark Blues, Ben Huckvale, received the individual bronze medal and will no doubt be leading the Oxford side in a valiant effort but, the squad feels confident in predicting, an ultimately unsuccessful ont. Come June will be the outdoor leg of BUSA - never yet won by the Light Blues - where Cambridge will once again face Edinburgh, this team with an eye on the grail of double victory, indoors and out.

(Varsity, 03/05/2002)