BUTC Review [05/Mar/09]

Nottingham A (George Harding, Rhys Rhodes and Amy Middleton) beat Warwick A (Phillip King, Chris Wells and Alex Stuart) in an absolute thriller of a BUTC final, the two teams virtually in lock-step together for the whole match. Nottingham A won 16-15 with the very last arrow of the day at the seventh BUTC. Lancaster (Matthew McCormack, John Lane and Michael Bass) beat Oxford (Sam Johnson, David Longworth and Marc Tamlyn) 10-7 in the bronze medal match, both sides recording by far their best BUTC performances to date.

The ranking round was a topsy turvy affair with several of the leading sides topping the table. Eventually Warwick A emerged from the pack, slowly spinning out a lead of 15 points with a total of 808. Dark horses Lancaster stunned the rest of the more established sides to claim second on 793. Nottingham A secured a 1 point lead over Cambridge, 787 to 786, with the dark blues of Oxford fifth with 776. A remarkable performance from Nottingham B saw them finish sixth on 773, not just the only B side in the top 16, but one point better off than defending champions Edinburgh. Edinburgh suffered three crucial misses leaving them only 22 points off second place but tumbling to seventh in the seedings as a result. Loughborough completed the top eight on 769 before a gap down to Bath A on 755. The six clubs occupying positions 10 to 15 all finished within six points of each other. Level on 749, Surrey finished ahead of Liverpool 90 hits to 89 and two points clear of SEAL rivals Imperial. Home side Swansea A were 13th on 745, London 14th on 744 and Sheffield 15th on 743. Keele A kept BUTC debutantes Essex out of the top 16 setting up their first round meeting.

In the individual standings George Harding (Nottingham A) with 279 was three points clear of a congested field led by Matthew McCormack (Lancaster) and Jordan Muscatello (Imperial A) on 276. Lizzie Williams (Edinburgh) had a much more comfortable time of it in the ladies field - her 275 kept her 16 points clear of Carrie Oliver (Cambridge). Top novice was Chris Fry (Nottingham B) on 254.

The format of the knock-out matches was identical to the last two years as the teams of three each shot four ends of two arrows each at 60mm discs.

Matches between the teams finishing 16th and 17th should theoretically be close battles, fought between teams difficult to separate. So it proved in what became undoubtedly the tie of the round, Keele A against Essex. This was Essex's first knock out match at BUTC and they will have to pull out something special to better this epic. The regular match finished tied at 7-7, with the first two tie breaks ending 1-1. Only one previous BUTC tie-break has gone beyond the first pass and that was resolved in the second. As the teams broke new ground, the nerves increased and the third tie break ended 0-0, before finally in the fourth, Keele A won 1-0 to break the deadlock after an astonishing 36 arrows. This is the first year that BUTC has visited the SWWU region and all three clubs had both A and B teams involved in the first round, but local hopes were dashed as all six sides were beaten. Home side Swansea A lost 6-5 to Bradford despite qualifying 13th to Bradford's 20th. Former champions Exeter A qualified in 26th and met Edinburgh - the two unis contested the 2005 final - but Edinburgh had no difficulties in recording a 12-3 win. Swansea B and Exeter B had qualified in 31st and 32nd and were outclassed by Lancaster and Warwick A respectively. Bath B put up more of a fight losing 6-4 to Surrey, whilst Bath A (qual 9th) became the highest seeded casualties of the round comfortably beaten 7-4 by St Andrews who had not previously won a KO match at BUTC. Warwick B (qual 19th) joined their A side in the last 16 defeating London (qual 14th) 8-6. Both Nottingham sides had six point victories, Nottingham B beating Keele B 7-1 whilst Nottingham A had a stiffer than expected work-out from 30th seeds Napier, eventually pulling away for a 13-7 victory. Both Imperial sides progressed to the last 16. Imperial A (qual 12th) beat Surrey B 8-5, whilst Imperial B (qual 19th) won a shoot off against Sheffield 2-1 after the match finished 5 apiece. Last year Leeds B took advantage of a no-show to win their university's first ever BUTC KO match. This year Leeds A almost emulated the feat but were downed 7-6 by their NEUAL colleagues Liverpool A (qual 11th). Liverpool B went down 10-5 to Cambridge. Elsewhere Loughborough beat Birmingham 10-4 whilst Oxford squeezed past 2004 winners York 8-7.

Keele A's reward for winning their marathon first round tie was a match against the top seeds and although they upped their game with 11 hits, they had no answer to a commanding 17 from Warwick A. Edinburgh produced the second highest total in this round with a convincing 15 discs to 8 win over Surrey. Lancaster started to find some hit-miss form with a convincing 12-6 win over Imperial B to advance to the last eight for the first time. Imperial A were also eliminated, going down narrowly 10-9 to Oxford. Having qualified 3rd and 6th, Nottingham's A and B sides could have faced one another in the quarters but were both in trouble in the round of 16. Nottingham A level with Warwick B (qual 19th) on 11 hits won the resultant tie break 3-1. Nottingham B were knocked out 13-9 by an impressive Liverpool A (qual 11th) in an entertaining match. Bradford and St Andrews, who had both recorded impressive upsets in round one could only manage 3 hits each in round two and were both easily beaten. BUTTS pair Cambridge and Loughborough's victories meant five out of eight quarter finalists hailed from the Midlands league.

Being in their first quarter finals and up against their oldest rivals seemed to inspire the dark blues of Oxford as they rattled into an early lead against Cambridge, who took an age to get off the mark. The light blue fight back, when it came, never looked like being enough and the match ended 12-6. Warwick A were never in trouble against Loughborough recording a 15-8 victory - the highest score in the round yet again. Nottingham A avenged the defeat of their B team by knocking out Liverpool A, final score 12-7. The most intriguing tie was high flying Lancaster against Edinburgh, historically more dangerous in hit miss conditions than their seeding implied. Lancaster opened up an early lead and managed to hold on to it for the entire match, eventually winning 14-11. This was Lancaster's BUTC 2009 highest match total and Edinburgh's lowest. The defeat for Edinburgh meant there would definitely be a new name on the trophy by the end of business.

The two semi-finals were run concurrently. Warwick A against Oxford was explosive right from the whistle, Warwick in their fourth BUTC semi, Oxford going beyond the last 16 for the first time. Despite a terrific effort, the Dark Blues started slipping behind and in the final end seemed to wilt under the onslaught which brought Warwick no less than 18 hits to Oxford's 12. Similarly, Lancaster hadn't yet been past the last 16 before this tournament, but unlike Oxford, they had out-qualified their opponents Nottingham A, who were first time semi-finalists last year. Lancaster, the only remaining side outwith BUTTS, took the lead early on, but could not stop Nottingham A clawing their way back in a match which really came to life at the half way stage. Nottingham A went on to force an 11-10 win and qualify for their first final.

The medal matches featured teams walking into the arena to rousing entry music and introduced to a large crowd which had been vociferous throughout. First up were Lancaster and Oxford. Both sides had arguably slightly exceeded expectations getting this far in the competition. The only meeting between the two in previous BUTCs was in the first round in 2006 where Oxford A had beaten Lancaster B, but the 2009 fixture carried a lot more significance. The match for bronze started slowly, both sides perhaps adjusting after semi-final defeats. Lancaster went in to the lead decisively during the second and third passes as Oxford were unable to rediscover the touch that had seen them go past Cambridge so easily. Shooting alternately meant that Lancaster were able to shoot their last set of three arrows, safe in the knowledge that they had won their first national level medals since BUSA Indoors 1995.

Warwick and Nottingham contested the first all English BUTC final but have been trading blows at regional league level all year. Could Warwick go one better after losing last year's final (having eliminated Nottingham in the 2008 semi) or could Nottingham get revenge for having the BUTTS title snatched out of their grasp only seven days previously. Warwick were probably favourites having top scored in the ranking and knock-out rounds and duly took an early lead in the final with some big hits and loud support. Nottingham with equally rowdy support, hit back and managed to keep the scores level at 4-4. Warwick tried to turn the screw in the second pass with 5 hits and did go into the lead but only just, 9-8 at the half way stage. In the third end, the dynamic of the match seemed to change as Warwick were unable to pull away from their opponents as in previous rounds. Both sides incurred yellow cards, with Warwick receiving one almost every end for a variety of faults, at one stage coming close to a red, the archer being manhandled back into the box by his team-mates. Nottingham levelled the match at 12 each with one end left, ratcheting the noise levels and tension even higher. Nottingham continued to plug away finishing with an emphatic hit. There was the possibility of a shoot off depending on disc-cutters, but Nottingham did not need it, winning the match 16-15 and with it, the Championship. Last year's final was a lot to live up to and sometimes the pressure of a potential victory can take away from the quality of the match itself. However, as with last year, both teams delivered with impressive results.

Thanks as ever to the the large crew that worked to produce this fabulous tournament. Tim Mundon, Ian McGibbon & ACME, James Raybould, the Judges and Commentators were aided by Craig May's crew of scorers and helpers from Swansea. Thanks also to Wales Archery Specialists for providing target faces. The event's chief sponsor, Werner Beiter was in attendance once again, comparing BUTC favourably to the Olympics and World Championships and also looking forward to attending BUTC 2039! Thanks should also go to the crowds of supporters who generated a great atmosphere. BUTC is unique amongst the national university archery competitions for actively encouraging such raucous support. This year for the first time we ran some live streaming of the event online, embedded on the home page of the UKSAA site - this was very much an experiment this year, but we hope we can expand it next year.

Before we get to BUTC 2039, perhaps we should look to who will host BUTC 2010. There's no question that hosting BUTC is a lot of work, but it's a prestigious tournament and there is no event on the calendar like it. Do you have space to shoot at 16 bosses and a small army of helpers available? Maybe you would just like to give your B team the best possible chance of being in the final 32 and go home to your own bed when it's all over. If you and your club are interested, find out more by contacting UKSAA.

Quarter Finals

  • Warwick A (1) beat Loughborough (8)
  • Oxford (5) beat Cambridge (4)
  • Nottingham A (3) beat Liverpool A (11)
  • Lancaster (2) beat Edinburgh (7)

Semi Finals

  • Warwick A beat Oxford
  • Nottingham A beat Lancaster

Third/Fourth place play-off

  • Lancaster beat Oxford


  • Nottingham A beat Warwick A

News and Editorials 2008/2009

  • Bath survive Swansea charge [15/Jul/09]
  • BUCS Outdoors Review [28/Jun/09]
  • Sullivan to vacate SMG Chair [04/Jun/09]
  • ELeague Season Review [04/May/09]
  • League Catch Up pt 4/4 - SEAL and SWWU [11/Apr/09]
  • BUCS Outdoors Entry Info [01/Apr/09]
  • League Catch Up pt 3/4 - SUS [25/Mar/09]
  • League Catch Up pt 2/4 BUTTS [20/Mar/09]
  • BUCS Indoor Review [17/Mar/09]
  • League Catch Up pt 1/4 NEUAL [09/Mar/09]
  • BUTC Review [05/Mar/09]
  • BUTC Answers and Questions [23/Feb/09]
  • Dundee lead SUS scrap for second [18/Feb/09]
  • SEALed with a kiss [13/Feb/09]
  • ELeague tables take shape [10/Feb/09]
  • League Points in January Sales [23/Jan/09]
  • Get into BUCS and BUTC [19/Jan/09]
  • How was 2008 for you? [12/Jan/09]
  • Nov/Dec Round Up pt 2/2 [16/Dec/08]
  • Nov/Dec Round Up pt 1/2 [12/Dec/08]
  • Scores on the doors [05/Dec/08]
  • Warwick match Edinburgh [28/Nov/08]
  • Mixed joy for Bath [25/Nov/08]
  • Imperial match Surrey [17/Nov/08]
  • Nottingham open with a flourish [11/Nov/08]
  • Oxford pip Kent to Stag Hill win [31/Oct/08]
  • Hall you need is love [27/Oct/08]
  • NEUAL and SWWU show their hands [16/Oct/08]
  • Stag Hill FITA is season KO [23/Sep/08]
  • New Stuff for the New Season [15/Sep/08]

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