The Archery NI Inter Club Championship was held at Lisnagarvey High School on Saturday the 24th of June. The event was co-hosted by Lisburn City Archery Club and East Belfast Archery Club and was set up as a competition that archers of all abilities could come and compete for their club. And so it turned out to be, as the shoot afforded a number of archers the chance to compete for the first time, some only within weeks of completing their beginners course.
The day started grey and misty and with a stiff breeze. Thankfully, the grey clouds lifted as the day progressed but the stiff Westerly breeze persisted and made shooting conditions tricky all day.
In all 34 Archers participated, representing five clubs. Ballyvally Archers, East Belfast AC who entered two teams, Lisburn City AC, Maiden City AC and Muckamore Company of Archers. The format of the shoot allowed teams of between 4 and 8 archers representing their club with the best 4 scores from each team in the morning and the best 4 in the afternoon giving a total team score. The scores of each archer were factored to account for their age, bow style, gender and distance shot. This allowed for teams of a wide spread of ages and abilities to shoot competitively, with archers ranging from primary school age to masters.
The morning session was shot over 16 ends of 3 arrows at 80Cm target faces. Archers could select their preferred distance from a choice of 20M, 30M, 40M and 50M. There was a good spread of distances selected and when the scores were counted and the factors applied Ballyvally had edged into a lead. The Barebow specialists were shooting well and dealing with the gusty conditions.
The lunchtime break allowed us all to sample the delights from the onsite Barbeque, ably manned by some young volunteers from EBAC. The burgers were great and fuelled us all for the afternoon session.
Complimentary crisps adorned the afternoon shooting line, tempting us to fuel up and risk having salty shooting fingers. Some succumbed. Again each archer could select the distance they wanted to shoot at from targets at 30M, 40M, 50M or 60M but this time with the full 122cm faces. Another 48 arrows were dispatched down the range and the scores recorded.
When the numbers were processed and the factors applied Ballyvally retained their lead and were crowned as Champions. Well done to their team of Angela Cowan, Romaine Mehaffey, Craig McCreery, Tom Mehaffey and Kim Pegrum. East Belfast 1 finished in second place and East Belfast 2 completed the podium. Well done to all.
In all, the shoot was a great day out. Our thanks must go to Ciaran Campbell and Linda Douglas, our judges on the day, for keeping the score sheets right and the rules observed. Thanks as well to David Wright from EBAC for performing all the score processing and doing all the background planning for the handicapping system. A shout out to Kevin Bloomfield and the team at City of Belfast for the use of their Gazebos and to our burger chefs for the lunchtime grub. Last, but by no means least, a huge thank you to Kilmore Archery Centre who sponsored the event through the kind provision of target faces.