Archery isn’t new to Roses – after all the houses of York and Lancaster used them extensively in the internecine wars that gave the name to this competition. So to that extent, Archery is the last vestige of the wars that have morphed to a friendly rivalry, although these days the white and red roses line up to aim at targets, not each other.
Following a late start and some dubious weather conditions, the archery novices stepped up to shoot the first end at 50m, clearly not put off by the windy conditions. After 12 ends of 6 arrows each, the top 3 scorers from York and Lancaster go on to compete head to head in the Novice Team Open.
After the first end Kirk Sparnenn of Lancaster lead for the males with a score of 47, and Agata Makas of Lancaster for the females with a score of 44. Lancaster continued to take the lead, fostering a friendly and laid-back atmosphere with their competition, and by half-time the top scorers remained the same, with Kirk at 236 and Agata at 246. By the end of the 12th end, Lancaster’s top 3 scorers were Kirk, Agata and Dmytro, and York’s top 3 scorers were Hongyuan, Alessandro and Richard – who will all compete in the novice head to head. Both Kirk and Agata maintain their leads until the end with scores of 458 and 472 respectively – earning Lancaster a win for both Novice Male and Female after in impressive performance.
Meanwhile, we also had the senior mens, which saw Tom Wilson of Lancaster storm into the lead with a score of 470, shooting at a distance of 70 metres. Laura Hodgkinson, also of Lancaster, clinched victory in the women’s senior shooting with a score of 417. This was also at seventy metres – impressive at all that the marksmen hit their mark never mind regularly scoring in the golden centre of the target.
At the end of the qualifying round, Lancaster came in first with both their male and female teams from the novice and senior archers. After a break where the rules were explained to all the contestants, the true competition began between Lancaster and York. Both teams appeared to feel the pressure as there was less joking between the archers and the audience held its breath. The procedure for both the individual and team head-to-heads, each archer had eighty seconds to shoot two arrows, then they switched with another archer from their university. Once each member had shot six arrows, the archers and judges walked down to the targets to collect arrow and to count up the points. This procedure occurred for each of the five rounds.
Despite the wind, both teams had archers make impressive shots—a York archer hit a nine and a Lancaster archer hit an eight. By the time the senior team head-to-head began, Lancaster and York learned through supporters that York won the overall tournament. This news did not dampen the Lancaster archers’ spirit however. All Lancaster archers continued working hard and won the senior team head-to-head. When asked about how they felt about their win, a combined comment from various members of the sport answered, “We won, it was great. We got all ten points—both team and individual.”