BUTC 2019 Review

Tournament Results [2.8Mb]

Warwick A (James Jeffs, Sherman Ip, Enrik Nako) won BUTC 2019 with a score of 17-13 in the final against Loughborough (Arthur Coveney, Adam Wozencroft, Ben Evans). Plymouth (Alex Rowe, Joseph Tripp, Amy Roberts) beat Birmingham (Jamal Rahman, Chris Avins, Callum Platt) 13-12 in the bronze medal match.

In total 25 different universities were represented, with two clubs, Coventry and Sussex, making their first ever appearance at a BUTC.

During the Bray I in the morning, both Warwick sides and Loughborough passed the lead around like a hot potato. With the last few ends of the round, Warwick A burst clear to end on 819, with their B team in second place on 806. Loughborough were third with exactly 800. They narrowly held off the charge of Birmingham who had made a relatively slow start, but landed 4th on 797. A little way behind in fifth were Surrey, the top ranked non-BUTTS side on 788, just 1 ahead of Oxford A who were just 1 ahead of Imperial. Lancaster rounded out the top quarter of the draw clear in 8th on 774. Both Oxford A and Lancaster had been within 10 of the top at half-way. Edinburgh were ninth on 768, followed by a near 20 point drop. SWWU sides occupied the next 3 slots - Plymouth A scored 750, with Bath on 745 and Swansea on 743. Napier were 13th on 738, ahead of hosts Reading A who scored 732 to edge ahead of York A's 731. Three sides fought for the last top 16 space. London and Bristol A both ended up on 714, with Oxford B two back. London were 16th with 18 golds with Bristol A 17th with 14 - though the order was largely immaterial since 16th plays 17th in round 1.

Arthur Coveney (Loughborough) took top spot in qualifying, scored 280 points and was top on golds - all for the second year running. This time it was James Jeffs (Warwick A) who was a gold behind. Jamal Rahman (Birmingham) was next on 278. Hannah Burnage (Warwick B) was comfortably the top lady qualifier on 275, with Ellen Jones (Oxford A) on 264. Maria Jacob (Reading A) was the third highest lady for the home side. Henry Kiely (Coventry) was top novice on 238.

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.

In the first half of the last 32, the highest aggregate match came between Birmingham and Swansea B, (qual 29th). Birmingham won the first pass 4-0, appearing to have the match sewn up right from the opening whistle. In contrast Warwick A stuttered to a 1-1 opener against 32nd and last seeds York B. Both Birmingham and Warwick A went on to rack up 9 more discs in their matches to win. Swansea B however hit 7 in response, meaning Birmingham could not truly relax until the end. Warwick's final margin was 10-3 - comfortable, but not quite the avalanche of yellow they might have wished for. Bristol A and London finished on the same score in the Bray I and an even KO match might have been expected. Bristol A had other ideas however and won all 4 passes to take their first ever match win in their second BUTC, 12-6. Surrey were the model of consistency with 4 passes of 3 to overwhelm Cambridge - the Light Blues didn't get off the mark until it was too late. Edinburgh eked out an 8-5 win over Southampton. 12th and 13th seeds Swansea A and Napier were both the victims of upsets, with Nottingham Trent beating Swansea 8-4 and Exeter squeezing past Napier 6-5. However the biggest upset of the day saw 25th seeds and BUTC newbies Coventry uproot the Red Roses of Lancaster A. Coventry took the first pass 3-1 and continue to slowly grow their lead until it was 6-2. Lancaster improved but it was too late and the Sky Blues soared in to round 2, 7 discs to 5.

In the second half of the last 32 and in contrast to their own A team, Warwick B hit the ground running immediately. They cruised through to round 2, winning 16-3 with an end to spare against Liverpool (qual 31st). Loughborough (qual 3rd) shot against East Anglia (qual 30th), evoking memories of a similarly seeded first round tie from 2016. That one went all the way to a tie break and Loughborough looked unconvincing as the first end finished 2-2. Loughborough did slowly exert some control as the match developed, and although East Anglia won the last pass, Loughborough recorded a 9-6 win. Hosts Reading A (qual 14th) made the second round for the first time since 2016, with a 7-5 win over Plymouth B. They had looked in trouble, 4-3 down at half way, but they fought back and avoided a shoot-off to progress. Sixth seeds Oxford A beat the host's B team. After a 0-0 opener, Oxford A clicked into gear an end before Reading B did and the Dark Blues ran out 10-3 winners. Bath returned to BUTC action after a 5 year gap and looked well poised, having qualified 11th. League rivals and 22nd seeds Cardiff stood in Bath's way. Neither side managed more than 2 in an end, but it was Cardiff, quarter-finalists 12 months ago, who slowly ground out a 6-4 win. Sussex, the 26th seeds made their BUTC bow this season and were pitted against SEAL rivals Imperial. The Imps were 5-1 up by half way, but Sussex acclimatised and won the last two passes 4-3 and 2-1 to lose a close match 7-9. Imperial may have been seeded 7th, but will have been grateful that the match ended when it did. The highest aggregate encounter of this half of the draw was an all SWWU affair. Plymouth A (qual 10th) against Bristol B (qual 23rd). Qualifying in 10th spot and having picked up gents team silver at BUCS Indoors Plymouth looked like a good outside bet for a long run inamongst the discs. The first pass was 3-3, but Plymouth won the second 4-0. That margin proved decisive as although Bristol B hit another 2 and then 4, Plymouth A matched them to win a BUTC match for the first time, 13 discs to 9. Oxford B looked like they might make it two dark blues in round 2 when they were 7-5 up after 3 sets but 15th seeds York clawed it back to 7-7. The first shoot off ended 1-1, before York took the second 2-1.

In the round of 16, Warwick A began to shake off the shackles, reaching 10 hits (their round of 32 match total) in the first half of their round of 16 match, including a clean 6/6 in pass 2 to lead Bristol A 10-5. Discs continued to fall and a good match ended 15-10. Fresh from the shoot-off exertions, York A struggled against Warwick B, although both sides found things tricky to start. Warwick B led 6-2 after three passes, adding some gloss in the fourth to make it 11-4. Those teams that had caused the big upsets in round of 32 all struggled to recapture their earlier form. Coventry were thumped 11-2 by Edinburgh, as Surrey dispatched Nottingham Trent 13-6. Exeter did briefly cause a flutter for defending champions Birmingham, when they rallied from 1-3 down to 3-3 in the second pass. Birmingham roared back with a 5-0 in the third, but then the match petered out, ending 9-4. Cardiff were brilliant in a run to the QFs on debut last year. This year they had a golden opportunity to match that result, but could only manage 3 as opponents Oxford struggled to 7. Third seeds Loughborough ended the run of hosts Reading A. Loughborough opened up a 4-1 lead in the first pass and Reading struggled to contain them, eventually going out 12-5. Imperial (qual 7th) faced Plymouth (qual 10th) in the remaining match and it was the south-western side who started strongly 8-4 up at half way. Imperial got it back to 10-7, but Plymouth regained the momentum in fourth to win 13-8.

In the quarters, defending champions Birmingham faced their stiffest test so far in Surrey. Surrey had made the QFs for only the second time, and their first since 2006 but they were seeded 5th only 1 place behind Birmingham. However, Birmingham proved too hot for them to handle as they hit 5 and then 4 to lead by 4. The dynamic of the match changed in the second half as Birmingham found the discs a little harder to pin down, but Surrey were not able to take advantage and the last remaining SEAL club went out 9 hits to 12. Oxford A against Loughborough was a surprisingly low scoring affair given both clubs' abilities and seeding. In the whole match, three passes ended 2-2, with the other one 2-1 in Loughborough's favour. Edinburgh had made their way quietly to the QFs but although they fought hard against Warwick A, they lost all 4 passes. Warwick A knocked in 16 discs, winning the third pass 5-4 to break the Scottish side's resistance. Plymouth had won their first ever KO match in round 1 and then their second with a seeding upset in round 2. Had they been well beaten by second seeds Warwick B, they would have still enjoyed a successful day, but 26 discs in two matches, was only one less than their opponents. When Warwick B opened up with a 6/6 clean round and followed it with another 4, Plymouth A mustered 7 in response to keep themselves in touch. In the third pass Warwick B's clean hitting suddenly deserted them and the Devon side drew level at 11-11. In the last, both sides traded blows and the tie of the round finished level at 14-14. If Warwick B were fired up then so were Plymouth and where another side might have finally folded against Warwick B's scoreboard pressure, the extra atmosphere seemed to fuel Plymouth, who went on to win the tie break 3-1.

The first semi-final brought together Warwick A and Birmingham. Together these two teams have won the overwhelming majority of national student events since 2015, including the last 4 BUTCs. Warwick v Birmingham has now been a semi final in 2016, 2018 and 2019 and in 2017? It was the final. Warwick made yet another strong start to the match, with disc-cutters making it 5-2. Birmingham steadied the ship, with 4-4 in pass two, but when Warwick threw in another 5 in pass 3, Birmingham ran out of energy. The match eventually finished 16-10. Birmingham's run of consecutive match wins ended at 13. In the second semi, Loughborough have been semi-finalists 5 times in the last 8 seasons, whereas Plymouth were very much breaking new ground. Although Plymouth were 10th seeds (against Loughborough's 3rd) they had accumulated 40 hits and Loughborough had occasionally been less than fluent with 29. The first two sets were shared, 3-3 and 2-2, but in the second half of the match, Plymouth's touch deserted them. Loughborough picked up a 3-1 and a 3-2 to win 11-8. Plymouth's stunning run would end with a bronze medal play off - but could they have gone a step further? Any of Plymouth's previous three match totals would have won this semi. For Loughborough however, progression meant a second successive final and the chance to avenge the shoot-off heartbreak of 12 months ago.

The bronze medal match was a noisy affair with Birmingham and Plymouth nip and tuck all the way. Birmingham took a narrow 3-2 early lead before Plymouth got back on level pegging after the second pass. 6-6 at half way became 9-9 after three as Plymouth kept pace, disc for disc. Finally in the last pass, it was Plymouth who nudged just ahead on the line, to take a pulsating match 12-11. Plymouth are the first SWWU side to win BUTC medals since 2005. Birmingham's run as BUTC champions may be over, but they still recorded a 4th consecutive semi-final appearance and, this year, became the only side to have contested every single BUTC - all 17 of them.

Warwick v Loughborough is another match that has had a huge bearing on the latter stages of BUTCs past. It was a semi in 2018, and this was a repeat of final in 2015. Warwick A were certainly favourites going in - top seeds and with the disc count increasing as the rounds went by. Both sides featured two previous finalists inamongst their three archers - though only Warwick could boast a past winner. This is the sixth consecutive all BUTTS league final. Warwick took an early lead in the final, but Loughborough pegged them back, to be only 4-3 down after pass one. In the second pass however, Warwick took a stranglehold on the match, blasting in five definitive hits from their first five shots. When the sixth arrow proved to be a hit as well, the clean sweep almost swept Loughborough away. At 10-5 down, Loughborough were in danger of losing with an end to spare, but the third end saw the team in purple recover with 4 hits. Warwick matched them to make it 14-9. Needing an unlikely 5 disc swing in the last, Loughborough had two hits from their first three, taking in just enough oxygen to stay in the match. On the brink of victory, the discs seemed to suddenly become a lot smaller for Warwick. Two misses ratcheted up the tension, but with their third arrow for the title, Warwick did deliver. The final's final score ended 17-13 to allow Warwick to raise the Werner Beiter trophy aloft. They have now done so three times, all in the last 5 years.

As always, BUTC could not go ahead with the support of its two key long-term 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. Particular thanks to Emma Brand and the Reading field crew who stepped up when the BUTC was without a venue and did an excellent job. BUTC 2019 is the first time Reading have ever hosted a national. Thanks also to the judging, IT/scoring, broadcasting/commentary teams and absent friends.

We say goodbye to the noise that those little yellow discs can whip up for another year. BUTC 2019 has been and gone, but could your club help to put together a competition like that? Expressions of interest in hosting BUTC 2020 are welcome at any time - and don't commit you to anything. Not straight away, anyway. Contact UKSAA for more.

Quarter Finals

  • Warwick A (1) beat Edinburgh (9)
  • Birmingham (4) beat Surrey (5)
  • Loughborough (3) beat Oxford A (6)
  • Plymouth A (10) beat Warwick B (2)

Semi Finals

  • Warwick A beat Birmingham
  • Loughborough beat Plymouth A

Third/Fourth place play-off

  • Plymouth A beat Birmingham


  • Warwick A beat Loughborough