BUTC 2017 Review [09/Mar/17]

Birmingham A (Francis Berti, Chris Avins, Rebekah Tipping) won BUTC 2017 and with it, the Werner Beiter trophy for the first time. They beat Warwick A (Tom Hall, Sherman Ip, James Jeffs) 17-15 in the highest scoring BUTC final since the current format was adopted in 2007. In the bronze medal match Edinburgh B (Guy Matzkin, Vlado Hurban, Josh Croall) beat surprise semi-finalists Swansea A (David Jenner, Gavin Tsang, Harry Lakhiani) 17-9.

There were 24 different universities taking part with NEUAL trio Central Lancashire, Newcastle and Salford all making their debuts.

During the morning ranking round Warwick A and Edinburgh B began to ease clear of the field with Warwick A on 413 at the half-way point, exactly half of the existing tournament record. An improved second half saw Warwick finish on an impressive 832 points. Edinburgh B were second on 817, whilst Birmingham A also worked their way clear of the pack on 808. Nottingham Trent and Edinburgh A both scored 793, with Trent pinching 4th spot by a single gold. Loughborough B were just behind on 791, one ahead of Derby A. Cambridge A rounded off the top 8 on 785, Nottingham A made it 7 BUTTS teams in the top 9 slots on 775, squeezing hosts Lancaster A into 10th by a point, the Red Roses scoring 774. Loughborough A and Swansea A qualified in 11th and 12th on 770 and 769, 5 ahead of York A. Swansea last shot a BUTC in 2009. The leaderboard spread out a little at this point, with East Anglia A 8 further back on 756, but 11 ahead clear of 15th. The last two spaces in the top half of the draw were bagged by the A teams of Liverpool and London.

In individual qualifying 4 gents broke away and it was Francis Berti (Birmingham A) who was in top spot after 30 arrows on 288, beating the previous tournament record (set in 2008) and Tom Hall (Warwick A) by a single point. On 285 were Jack Masefield (Derby A) and Robert Gray (Nottingham Trent A). Sara Rubio (Southampton A) was top lady on 275 ahead of Neringa Siugzdinyte (Edinburgh A) and Margaux Mesle (Liverpool A) both on 272 and Kayleigh Ivanov (Napier) 267. Top novice was Josh Croall (Edibburgh B) who scored 266, beating the previous record by a point.

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 first round, the round of 32, 16th vs 17th is traditionally a close run affair and this year it was given the extra edge of local rivalry as SEAL's top 2, London and Southampton, duked it out. London have had the better of their SEAL encounters but after sharing 8 discs in the first pass, it was the south coast side who won an exciting match 15-10 - the highest scoring of all 16 first round encounters. Salford, competing in their first BUTC, were given a brutal introduction to the little yellow discs. Having qualified in 28th and 32nd, their opponents were always going to be tough, but by half-way, both A & B teams were 9-1 down and both were eliminated with an end to spare. Fifth seeds Edinburgh A opened with 6/6 to beat Salford A 15-4, whilst Warwick A were 17-4 winners over Salford B. Newcastle A were the top qualifying first timers in 20th and they gave 13th seeds York A a good test. Newcastle went in to the 4th pass only one point behind at 6-5, before bowing out 8-6 to their NEUAL rivals - York made the second round for the first time since 2010. 8th and 9th seeds Cambridge A and Nottingham A booked a second round encounter with each other by beating Reading A and Southampton B, 9-6 and 12-8. 12th seeds Swansea A initially went 3-2 down against Surrey A (qual 21st), but SWWU's only representatives in the draw won the remaining three passes 3 discs to 1 to progress safely. The match was Swansea's first BUTC KO win in their fifth tournament and after a gap of 8 years away. Nottingham Trent (qual 4th) comfortably saw off Teesside A 11-4.

In the second half of the draw, third seeds Birmingham A knocked in 15 hits to beat Surrey B (qual 30th), who followed their A team out of the competition. Surrey B picked up half of their 8 hits in a final flourish that saw them win the pass outright and exceed the 6 disc tally of their A team. Edinburgh B's opponents Teesside B (qual 31st) secured their place in the draw with less than 24 hours to go. They scored exactly 1 hit every end against Edinburgh B's 3s and 4s to give a final score of 14 hits to 4. One of the more intriguing match ups pitched hosts Lancaster against themselves (A qual 10th, B qual 23rd). A predictably nervy match followed with Lancaster A grinding to a 3-0 half way lead. A second half revival saw the B team produce a remarkable 5-4 win. This match had lowest disc aggregate of the round, but resulted in its biggest upset by seeding. Derby A looked strong, knocking out first-timers Central Lancs A 15-4 with an end to spare. Warwick B (qual 18th) joined their A team in the second round with an upset against Liverpool A. The first two ends were level, but Warwick B gradually eked out a 12-9 win. At BUTC 2013 in Lancaster, Oxford won trophy, but the 2017 event was a less auspicious one for the Dark Blues. Having qualified in 22nd they could only managed a solitary disc in the first three passes and were eliminted - the only one of 10 BUTTS sides to go out in the first round and the first time in 6 years they have failed to make the semis. Loughborough A ran away with the match 14-3. Loughborough B outqualified their A team in 6th place, but struggled to put away 27th seeds Durham A. Durham reduced the gap to 1 disc with one end to go, but in the end Loughborough B squeezed through 7-5. East Anglia A (qual 14th) against Napier A (qual 19th) produced an unusual match where momentum swung violently. Trailing 3-1 after the first pass, East Anglia stormed into a 5-3 lead at half way, before slipping 7-6 behind after pass three and needing a last gasp equaliser to make it 9-9. The SEAL side failed to find the yellow in the shoot off but Napier's timekeeping nearly caused their demise. Their last arrow was flung out a heartbeat before the buzzer and sailed high into the netting. In a second tie-break, the Scottish side did make it to the round of 16 for only the second time, winning 2-1. For East Anglia, this was more Beiter hit/miss agony after they also lost a first round tie-break last year.

Having broken the Bray I record in the morning, Warwick A tied a different record in the afternoon. The double defending champions racked up 20 hits whilst overpowering Southampton A, including a perfect 6/6 in pass two, wrapping up the match with an end to spare. Also through with an end to spare were Birmingham A. They never allowed Napier A, fresh from their shoot out exertions, to get anywhere close in a 16-5 win. Second seeds Edinburgh B were up against Warwick B, with single point wins in the first and third proving just about enough for the SSS side to scrape through a tough encounter 12-10. They were not joined in the last eight by their fifth seeded A team however, as Swansea A (qual 12th) immediately followed up their first hit-miss win with their second. Edinburgh A were 7-6 up at half way, but in a decisive third pass, Swansea hit 5 to take the lead and never looked back, winning 14-12. That however, was not the biggest seeding upset of the round as York A (qual 13th) beat Nottingham Trent A (qual 4th) to make the quarter-finals for the first time in the hit-miss era. York overturned a 1 disc deficit in the final pass to win 9-8 and ensure there would be NEUAL representation in the quarters as Lancaster B could not repeat their first round heroics, losing 12-7 to Derby A. Derby did the damage coming in the first half. In an all BUTTS affair Nottingham A found their way past Cambridge A 9-7 with a 4 disc swing in the second half. There was a second A v B clash as Loughborough's A team beat their B team. The match was evenly poised after two passes, but Loughborough A won 4-2 in the third and then added some gloss to the margin with a 5-0 in the last. Confusingly, A beats B was actually an upset according to the seedings, 11th against 6th.

This year's quarter-finals produced some heavy scoring with every single team hitting at least 50% of the available discs. Remarkably, in all four matches, the scores were only one disc apart with the last end to go. In the first half of their matches, Nottingham A and Derby A led the top two seeds Warwick A and Edinburgh B 10-6 and 9-6. Warwick A hadn't lost a KO match since the 2014 final and were facing elimination square in the face. The 2015 and 2016 champions leapt into life in pass 3 with 6/6, cutting the gap to 1 disc, before claming a dramatic win 3-1 in the 4th for 15-14. Edinburgh B also hit back against Derby A winning the third pass 5-3 to keep them only 11-12 behind. Derby hit 4 discs and looked to be on their way to the semis but Edinburgh who needed 5 to even force a shoot-off shot a perfect end at the perfect moment. The total of 33 discs in a match ties the match aggregate record. Derby A's 16 hits is the highest ever to end up on the losing side. Birmingham A and Loughborough A contested a close encounter, with all four ends finishing 4 discs to 3. Third seeds Birmingham A won the first, second and fourth ends to win the match 15-13. The other QF was between the conquerors of the 4th and 5th seeds. Swansea A and York A had were thus both were presented with a great opportunity, i.e. each other, to make the semi-finals. Swansea took a shaky opener 2-0, but as the match progressed both sides began to find the form that had got them this far, ending with a pulsating 5-5 end to put Swansea through to the last four 13-12. They became the first SWWU semi-finalists since 2006.

Birmingham, Edinburgh and Warwick were arguably the pre-tournament favourites and whilst all three had been comfortable through the early rounds, the QFs have given them all a tough work-out. Warwick came in as double defending champions. Birmingham had never won the title, but have been one of the strongest sides for the last two years and picked up bronze last year. Edinburgh won the most recent of their 5 titles in 2010 and were also semi-finalists last year. Swansea were the rank outsiders in the last four. They qualified in 12th but had never previously won a BUTC KO match prior to this year and were attending BUTC after an 8 year gap. The semi-finals saw Warwick made a strong start against Swansea - 10 hits in the first half left the Welsh side reeling, back on 4. They were in danger of being swept away and needed to at least tie the third pass to stay in the match. Swansea made a valiant attempt to cut the deficit with 5 out of 6 in the third, but Warwick's heavy scoring meant the deficit stayed at 6. A 4-2 win in the fourth saw Warwick into their 6th BUTC final 19 discs to 11. Edinburgh against Birmingham was a repeat of last year's bronze medal match and ultimately it led to the same result. The match was level at 6-6 at half-way. In the third pass, Birmingham hit 5 to take a two disc lead and although Edinburgh hit back with 5 of their own in the fourth pass, Birmingham were able to match them, to give a 16-14 win to the BUTTS side.

The 2017 bronze medal match saw Edinburgh take an early 4-1 lead against Swansea. The Welsh club hit back, with 4 in the second pass, but could not make up any ground as their Scottish opponents also notched 4. In the second half of the match, Edinburgh began to ease clear with the Swans drifting further and further behind. Six ahead with one end to shoot, Edinburgh won the match 17-9 and won medals at this event for the first time since 2013 and take some revenge for their own A team. For Swansea it was a remarkably successful tournament. Having qualified in the middle third of the field, they fought their way deservedly through to the semi-finals, scoring a significant upset in the round of 16 and taking advantage of the draw opening up for them. The 4th place finish is Swansea's best result at a national student event ever.

The 2017 final was a repeat of one of last year's semi-finals - indeed 4 of the participants of that match also took part in the title decider this year. Warwick A were top seeds and were on a run of 14 consecutive match wins and 4 consecutive finals appearances - in both cases two short of the all time BUTC record. Birmingham are one of only three universities to have attended every single BUTC. They were surprise finalists back in 2011 but there were no surprises about their bronze last year and recently they have had the better of Warwick at regional league level, with some eye-watering team scores bandied about. A high quality final was expected, but the tension of the occasion can mean a slow start. Not this year. Both teams were out of the blocks explosively, perhaps aware that every dropped shot might count. Discs went flying and the judges were busy as Birmingham narrowly eclipsed their Midlands rivals to lead 5-4. The second end changed the tone of the match. Birmingham largely maintained their momentum from the first pass - and kept giving their appreciative crowd something to cheer about with 4 hits. Warwick however did not and the defending champions could only claim 2 hits to slide 6-9 behind. With the sides shooting alternately, this set up a cat and mouse feel to the second half of the final. Warwick had four attempts to reel in their rivals but could never apply enough pressure and all the Brummies needed to do was keep their score moving. The judges were kept very, very busy as the noise levels went up and up. Pass 3 ended 4-4, meaning the Brummies led 13-10 with 6 to shoot. After pass 4 had finished, Birmingham knew they were strong favourites but had an agonising wait for the judge's decisions. Pass 4 ended 5-4 to Warwick and Birmingham were finally able to raise their arms aloft as champions for the first time. The final score was 17-15, the highest scoring final (by a disc) since the current format was adopted in 2007. Warwick's tally of 86 discs acorss their 5 rounds was one off the tournament record. Birmingham became the eighth different club to become BUTC champions and ensure the trophy stays in BUTTS for the seventh straight season.

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 supplyied the bosses, timing equipment and targets with Beiter supplying the 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 the excellent Lancaster crew, also to the judging, IT and organising teams, commentators and absent friends. We must also thank LA1:TV who provided excellent online coverage throughout the day.

BUTC is the first of the nationals to have a winner in 2017. The foam blocks and the little yellow discs, by turns infuriating and beguiling, are packed away for another year. Could your club help to put together a competition like that? Expressions of interest in hosting BUTC 2018 are welcome at any time - just contact UKSAA.


Quarter Finals

  • Warwick A (1) beat Nottingham A (9)
  • Swansea A (12) beat York A (13)
  • Birmingham A (3) beat Loughborough A (11)
  • Edinburgh B (2) beat Derby A (7)

Semi Finals

  • Warwick A beat Swansea A
  • Birmingham A beat Edinburgh B

Third/Fourth place play-off

  • Edinburgh B beat Swansea A

Final

  • Birmingham A beat Warwick A

News and Editorials 2016/2017

  • Prieels QF leads Taipei way [30/Aug/17]
  • Exeter take SWWU crown [04/Aug/17]
  • Record Breakers [20/Jul/17]
  • Six go to Taipei [14/Jul/17]
  • Lilleshall Head to Heads [29/Jun/17]
  • BUCS Outdoors Review [16/Jun/17]
  • SWWU titles go to wire [16/May/17]
  • E by Brum [05/May/17]
  • Red Rose clean sweeps [20/Apr/17]
  • London SEAL title hat-trick [14/Apr/17]
  • The Toucan rises [11/Apr/17]
  • BUCS Indoor 2017 Finals [15/Mar/17]
  • Napier deny Edinburgh SSS sweep [15/Mar/17]
  • BUTC 2017 Review [09/Mar/17]
  • Southern Belles [28/Feb/17]
  • BUTTS 4, BUTC line up [24/Feb/17]
  • SEAL 3 and Round Up [17/Feb/17]
  • Northern Lights Part 2 [12/Feb/17]
  • Northern Lights Part 1 [06/Feb/17]
  • 74th/75th [25/Jan/17]
  • BUTC entry form released [19/Jan/17]
  • SEAL 2 kills off 2016 [30/Dec/16]
  • NEUAL Round 3, Novice [13/Dec/16]
  • Success at M5's end [07/Dec/16]
  • London top SEAL match 1 [30/Nov/16]
  • BUTC is like a red red rose [23/Nov/16]
  • Brilliant Brum are Morgan spiced [21/Nov/16]
  • NEUAL KO, SSS 2 [11/Nov/16]
  • Scottish season underway [04/Nov/16]
  • '16 going on '17 [28/Oct/16]
  • Start your engines [19/Sep/16]

  • Previous seasons' articles:

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