BUTC 2018 Review

Tournament Results [2.8Mb]

Birmingham A (Conor Hall, Jamal Rahman, Catherine Jackson) won BUTC 2018, 1-0 in a shoot off after the final against Loughborough (Arthur Coveney, Chris Cooper, Ben Evans) ended 15-15 - first time the final has ever gone to a shoot off. Warwick A (Sherman Ip, Enrik Nako, Sam Armstrong) beat Warwick B (James Gardner, Hannah Burnage, James Jeffs) in the bronze medal match 13-11.

There were 27 different universities taking part, itself a new BUTC record. Bristol, Cardiff and Plymouth, all from SWWU, made their debuts.

During the morning ranking round, Loughborough found themselves top for most of the way but they were overtaken by Birmingham A with around 3 ends to go. The hosts and defending champions racked up 822, with Loughborough on 814. These two teams had emerged gradually from a chasing pack of 4 "other" BUTTS teams spread across 11 points. Birmingham B took third place on 798, Warwick A and Nottingham A both scored 795, with Warwick A 4th on 30 golds to 26. Warwick B, who had spent some of qualifying ahead of their own A team were sixth on 787. A further 11 behind came the first non-BUTTS teams, Exeter - marking their first appearance since 2012 - were 7th on 776 with Bradford in 8th on 770, 10 ahead of Nottingham B. Places 10th down to 14th were separated by only 10 more points. Last season's surprise package Swansea were 10th on 756, just 1 ahead of Newcastle. Nottingham Trent totalled 752, with Imperial on 750. Cardiff were the highest placed of the new teams on 746. York (742) and Southampton (737) complete the top half.

The top of the gents leaderboard was unusually close, with on 8 gents within 6 points of top spot. Arthur Coveney (Loughborough) just about took top spot ahead of Conor Hall (Birmingham A), both men on 280 points, 30 hits and 16 golds, Coveney 5 Xs to 2. Matthew Gardiner (Bradford) and Jamal Rahman (Birmingham A) both hit 278. Lizzie Elmer (Nottingham A) was top lady, just edging in front of Becky Martin (Bristol) on 270. Harriet Kelsey (Nottingham B) and Catherine Jackson (Birmingham A) led the chasnig pack on 265 and 264. Ather Butt (Bradford) was top novice on 248.

The format of the knock-out matches was same as it has been since 2007, with the teams of three each shooting four ends of two arrows each at 60mm discs.

The first half of the round of 32 saw straightforward wins for Birmingham and Warwick's A teams. The hosts accelerated away to a 16-2 win over Keele, whist Warwick A were 14-2 winners over Reading. Nottingham's A and B teams both made it through, though whilst the fifth seeded A team beat Lancaster B 8-2, the ninth seeded B team romped home 12-2 against first-timers Bristol. 16th against 17th was a close affair as it often is. Southampton (who won this fixture last year) did so again with a 8-6 win over Lancaster A. Bradford, seeded eighth, gradually pulled clear from De Montfort to record a 9-2 win. Bradford's last BUTC was 2013 and their last match win came in 2009. There were two significant upsets by seeding in the pass. Imperial (qual. 13th) were leading Oxford (qual. 20th) at half way and the newly crowned SEAL champions appeared set for the last 16 but the Dark Blues suddenly roared back hitting 5 discs in pass3 to win 8-6. The match between London (qual. 21st) and Nottingham Trent (qual. 12th) saw many near hits but few actual ones. At 3-3 after 24 arrows, the first shoot off ended 1-1. Trent could not find the killer touch and it was London who struck 1-0 in the second shoot off to go through.

In the second half of the draw saw the other two teams new to BUTC, Cardiff (qual 14th) and Plymouth (qual 19th) went up against one another. Any suggestion that inexperience might cause this match to struggle were swiftly dispatched as the SWWU pair served up the highest scoring match of the round, with the Welsh side coming out on top 13 hits to 11. The last team to win KO match on BUTC debut were Queen Mary in 2012. There were two Welsh sides at BUTC for the first time ever and both of them made it in to the last 16 as Swansea squeaked through 7-6 against Surrey A. Five SWWU sides beats the previous record of three (2006 and 2009). Surrey B went down 3-10 to Warwick B. Also scoring 10 and also making it through were York, but they were given an almighty scare in the last pass from Central Lancashire. UCLan were 5-10 down, but won the last pass 4-0. There were straightforward wins for Birmingham B (13-3 against Liverpool), Loughborough (12-3 against Teesside) and Exeter (11-3 against Cambridge). Exeter's last BUTC was 2012 and their last match win came in 2006. Napier (qual 22nd) and Newcastle (qual 11th) drew 5-5 after the regulation match. Napier were the only Scottish side in the draw this year and also caused the largest seeding upset with a 1-0 shoot off win - the second year in succession they have won a shoot-off at this stage.

Moving on to the round of 16, both top seeds, Birmingham A and Loughborough recorded 6 and 5 disc wins, but both only stretched away latterly as they were given a thorough workout. Birmingham A eventually came through 15-9 against Southampton, whilst Loughborough were similarly stronger later beating York 15-10. Napier, still fresh from shoot-off joy, did not find the target until the second half of their match, by which time Warwick B were out of sight, 8-0 becoming 15-5. Warwick A went through 12-7 against Oxford, this match a repeat of the 2014 and 2016 finals. Bradford and Exeter - both back and winning after long gaps - both won again. Exeter produced a 12-7 win over league rivals Swansea, whilst Bradford came through a tough 9-7 win over Nottingham B, 8th seed against 9th. This earned Bradford a first ever trip to the quarters at their ninth BUTC. Perhaps the biggest stories of the round came in the fixtures that went to shoot-offs, as two of the top 5 seeds came a cropper in the last 16. London (qual 21st) beat Nottingham A (qual 5th). The regulation match ended 7-7 as Nottingham were never able to build a lead, despite outqualifying London by 16 places and 115 points. In an astonishing 3-0 shoot-off whitewash London added a second city of Nottingham scalp. At 21st, becoming the joint lowest seed to make a QF. Birmingham B were seeded 3rd - only beaten by Loughborough and their own A team and had legitimate designs on at least a medal themselves. Cardiff (qual 14th) seemed totally unaffected by the raucous home support and built noisy backing of their own as they kept pace with their opponents. Support was swelled by their fellow SWWU clubs as it was Cardiff who clinched a memorable shoot off 2-1, keeping their 100% hit-miss match record alive.

The QFs saw 4 BUTTS teams go up against 4 teams from elsewhere. Bradford and Cardiff both make their first last eight showing, with Exeter back in the last 8 for the first time since 2006 and London at this stage of the competition for the fourth time in six seasons. Meanwhile you have to go back to 2013 to find the last time Birmingham, Loughborough and Warwick were not all in the QFs. Loughborough suffered from a wobble and were kept constantly in range by Exeter - winners in 2005, the first year of hit miss. Both sides put in their lowest total of the day, 10-9, with Loughborough making it through to the last four. The other three quarter-finals were all more decisive. Warwick became the first team since 2004 (and ever in the hit miss era) to get their A and B team through to the semi-finals. Warwick B ended Cardiff's dream debut run 13-7, whilst Warwick A also ended London's campaign 15 hits to 8. Birmingham A had too much in the tank, despite a spirited effort from Bradford, with the defending champions pulling away to a 16-9 win.

Birmingham A came in to the semis as a side in form, but the hosts of BUTC hadn't won since 2007. Could the Brummies end this streak? warwick's remarkable effort to get both sides in to the last 4 concealed the fact that even Warwick A had finished 19 and 27 behind the top two in the Bray I - hardly a yawning chasm, but a noteworthy margin. Loughborough also have tremendous form in this event - champions in 2012, they were also finalists in 2015 and semi-finalists twice more besides. Birmingham A against Warwick A actually proved quite a nervy affair as both sides struggled to strike the convincing blow that would tilt the match in their favour. Neither side could gain the momentum needed and a close match finished tied at 10-10 - both sides lowest total of the day. In the shoot-off however, Birmingham A finally, found a spark and knocked out all 3 discs to Warwick A's 1. This 5th shoot off of the day was itself a record, although 5 was not how it finished. In the other match, a similar story was unfolding until the third pass. Loughborough bounced in to life with a perfect 6/6 to leave Warwick B trailing, the match subsequently ending 17-10.

This left the bronze medal match as an all Warwick affair, an echo of Imperial A v Imperial B back in BUTC's inaugural 2003 event. Perhaps because of the familiarity on show, the match lacked that extra level of intensity with the prizes for 3rd and 4th already assured of the same destination. The Warwicks exchanged hits early on with the A team leading 9-8 after 3 passes, before making sure with a 4-3 in the last to make it 13-11. Warwick have contested the last 4 finals (winning 2) but even though they missed out this time, they have has a side (or in this case 2) in the semi-finals of the event 10 times in 15 attempts.

Birmingham and Loughborough meet in the final for the first time with 1 win and 1 loss in 2 previous finals each. The two sides had met in last year's QFs with Birmingham winning 15-13. After four 2018 matches, Birmingham had hit 57 discs to Loughborough's 54, but Loughborough had shot far better in their semi-final. Top seeds Birmingham elected to shoot first and opened up a 2-1 lead, which became 5-3 once the end was complete. Any jitters from the semi-final seemed to have passed for Birmingham. However Loughborough did hit back in pass number 2, disc cutters bringing the match level at 7-7. Birmingham promptly banged in another 3/3 and made it a total of 5 for the end to try to press home their advantage. Dogged Loughborough continued to punch back and scored with all of the last 3 arrows of the pass to cut their deficit and be 11-12 down. Loughborough now shot first and made it 6 in a row with another 3 hits, turning 8-12 into 14-12, to completely change the dynamic of the match. Suddenly on the back foot, Birmingham were scrambling to stay in touch. Loughborough's next arrows could have put them out of sight, but they left the door ajar and Birmingham equalised with the last regulation shot in the last regulation second - although nothing was confirmed until the judges had had a look. Both sides hit with their last arrows with barely a second to spare. In the shoot off, Birmingham hit with only their last arrow, but having found the answers all day, finally Loughborough ran out of steam. Defeat was cruel on the team in purple who had contributed so much to the final and the tournament as a whole. Joy erupted through the Birmingham team though, as they successfully defended the title and done so in the first major tournament to be held in the venue.

BUTC could not go ahead with the support of its two key long terms sponsors, Clickers and Beiter who were once again critical to the success of the day. Clickers supplied the bosses, timing equipment and targets with Beiter supplying the foam inserts hit/miss apparatus. Thanks are also due to the many people who worked very hard in the months and days leading up to the tournament and across the weekend itself, including India Wilson and her well drilled Birmingham field crew, also to the judging, IT/scoring, broadcasting and organising teams, commentators and absent friends. The competition's live online coverage was really strong and BUTC also made a move towards mobile scoring.

Those little yellow discs have been packed away as the noise of BUTC 2018 fades away, with the outdoor season just around the corner. Could your club help to put together a competition like that? Expressions of interest in hosting BUTC 2019 are welcome at any time - just contact UKSAA.

Quarter Finals

  • Birmingham A (1) beat Bradford (8)
  • Warwick A (4) beat London (21)
  • Warwick B (6) beat Cardiff (14)
  • Loughborough (2) beat Exeter (7)

Semi Finals

  • Birmingham A beat Warwick A
  • Loughborough beat Warwick B

Third/Fourth place play-off

  • Warwick A beat Warwick B


  • Birmingham A beat Loughborough