BUTC 2024 Review [25/Apr/24]

Warwick A (James Gardner, Wills Chiu, Jake O'Reilly) won BUTC 2024, with a dominant performance, winning 17-8 against surprise finalists Lancaster (Kobe Pioquinto, Jesse Phillips, Myles Hulme). Warwick win the title for a record equalling fifth time. Leeds A (Samson Wang, Kavina Keshav, Jake Patel) beat Oxford A (Yang Pei, Callum Henfery, Ecaterina Pogorenii) 17-13 in an entertaining bronze medal match.

In total 15 different universities were represented, with one club, Anglia Ruskin, making their first ever appearance at a BUTC. ARU are the 55th club to have shot at a BUTC.

Yang Pei (Oxford A) was top qualifier with 282. Samson Wang (Leeds A) was next on 278, with Julianna Ostrovska (Royal Holloway) the top lady on 275. Adam Bates (Oxford B) was the only other archer over 270, on 271. Top novice was Jack Yates (Liverpool B) on 232.

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.

For the first time in many years, BUTC wasn't full - the necessity of having the competition in the Easter holidays was the driving factor here. After withdrawals, there were 8 spaces in the draw, with the top 8 sides in qualifying therefore earning a bye in the first knock out round. Leeds A and Oxford A worked their way clear of the field, but a storming finish from Warwick A left the top 3 sides virtually on top of each other. Leeds A took top spot with 792, whilst Oxford A and Warwick A both had 791s, Oxford A taking second 90-89 on hits. With their A teams battling for first, the B teams of Oxford and Leeds battled for fourth, with Oxford B on 774 and Leeds B on 770. Hosts Sheffield A completed the leading group of teams on 766. Loughborough A held off Liverpool A by a single point 742 to 741, the pair 7th and 8th. Anglia Ruskin, in their first BUTC, took 9th spot on 726. Sheffield B and Warwick B rounded off the top 10 on 722 and 715, with Lancaster in 12th, 10 points behind. The top 16 was completed by York, Loughborough B, Liverpool B and Durham A.

With a 12 boss hall being used for the first time, the Round of 32 was spread over 3 sessions. In the first set of 6 matches, there were byes for Leeds A, Liverpool A and Leeds B. In the active matches, there were comfortable wins for Anglia Ruskin and Lancaster. ARU won their first match on the discs 7-1 against Reading B, whilst Lancaster raced to a 12-2 win over Der Monfort B. The fixture was Lancaster's first since 2019. Durham A against Royal Holloway was 16th against 17th seeds and proved a match of two halves. RHU were 5-1 up by half way. Durham fought back in the second half, but couldn't apply enough pressure and RHU won 6-4.

The second set of six Round of 32 fixtures saw byes for Oxford B, Warwick A and Sheffield A. Warwick B (q 11th) against Reading A (q 22nd) ended 7-3, but the match was far closer than that suggests. Reading actually led 1-0 after the first end and although Warwick B did get going a bit, by three ends the score was only 4-3 in Warwick B's favour. Loughborough B squeezed out De Montfort A 7-5. Tie of the round however was York (q 13th) v Birmingham (q 20th). The regulation match ended 4-4, before the start of what would become a triple shoot-off - only the 6th time in the event's history that a three shoot offs have been required to break a deadlock. The first shoot off ended 2-2, the second ended 1-1 and with increasing noise levels and nerves, finally it was Birmingham edged through 1-0. Birmingham are the only university to have contested all 20 BUTCs held to date.

The last Round of 32 fixtures saw byes for Loughborough A and Oxford A. Sheffield B appeared to be in a spot of both, locked together at 2-2 with Lincoln at the half way mark, but the host's B team accelerated away in the second half to win 8-2. Liverpool B against Durham B was the lowest scoring match of the grid - it was stuck at 1-1 after 18 arrows apiece. Liverpool B eventually went through 3-2.

The Round of 16 was also slightly split, with the first two fixtures being shot alongside the end of the Round of 32. Royal Holloway (q 17th) competed closely with Leeds A (q 1st) but the top seeds slowly ground out a 9-7 win. Anglia Ruskin meanwhile followed up their first ever BUTC match win with their second. Liverpool A took the first end 3-1, but were pegged back to 3-3. ARU then made it 5-4 and clung on for a 7-6 win. In the rest of the matches, Liverpool B also hit 6 discs but also lost, 6-12 to Oxford A. There were mixed fortunes for the host club. Sheffield A (q 6th) seemed to be in control against Warwick B (q 11th), winning the first end 4-2 and extending that to 6-3. However in the second half of the match, the scoreline was almost exactly reversed, with Warwick B completing a comeback to win 10-9. This gave Warwick B a match against their own A team and denied the possibility of a re-run of the 2022 final. Sheffield B (q 10th), however provided an upset of their own against Loughborough A (q 7th), winning 8-6. Loughborough B lost 11-7 to Warwick A, the damage being done in an 8-3 first half. Following their lengthy shoot-off, Birmingham shared the first and second pass 2-2 with Oxford B, before the 4th seeds pulled away for a 9-5 win. Lancaster (q 12th) v Leeds B (q 5th) proved a tough encounter, 3-3 after the first end, and 7-7 after two. Pass three saw both sides suddenly struggle, with outsiders Lancaster making it 8-7. When the fourth end was shared as well, it was Lancaster who went through 11-10.

The quarter-final line up in 2024 saw a mix of expected and slightly unexpected names. In their first BUTC, Anglia Ruskin were the in QFs for the first time, whilst Lancaster returned to this stage of the competition for the first time since 2012. Oxford and Warwick A and B occupied half of the draw. Warwick A faced their own B team - a repeat of the 2018 bronze medal match. The atmosphere in the match may have been friendly, but Warwick A blitzed their own B team, with three 5s and a 4 to win 19-9. They narrowly missed the tournament record (20) that they jointly hold. Oxford A booked a semi-final spot against Warwick A by getting past Sheffield B 10 discs to 7. Oxford A were 5-2 up, but saw their lead cut to 6-5, before seeing out the match. Oxford's B team (q 4th) found quarter-final discs at more of a premium and headed rapidly into trouble against Lancaster. A 4-1 lead became a 7-2 lead which became a 10-3 lead. Despite being outqualified by nearly 70 points in the Bray I, Lancaster won with an end to spare, final score 12-5. Leeds A opened up a 2-1 lead against Anglia Ruskin, but ARU dug in and kept pace with top seeds Leeds A in the second and third pass to leave the match at 7-6. In the final pass, Leeds A were able to edge another disc ahead to take the match 10-8. ARU exited after a really strong performance. Last SEAL club standing and only the second club to make the QFs on debut for a decade - Cardiff in 2018 were the other.

The semis were both regional league derbies, Leeds A v Lancaster and Oxford A v Warwick A. Oxford against Warwick has been the final twice before (2014 and 2016) and the pair also met in a 2022 QF. Leeds and Lancaster were both in the BUTC semi finals for the second time. Leeds made the last four in 2022 and had one of their 2022 trio shooting in 2024, but for Lancaster that previous appearance was way back 2009. Lancaster (q 12th) had already accounted for the 5th and then 4th seeds. Could they topple the top seeds who had outqualified them by nearly 90 points? To do so they would need a good start, but surely not even Lancaster themselves would have imagined racking up a 5-1 advantage after 6 arrows, less still making it 8-2 after 12. Yet that is exactly where they found themselves. Staring elimination in the face, Leeds A hit back, 4-2 in the third to make it 10-6, but it was not enough as the last end was 3-3, giving Lancaster a 13-9 win. Warwick A and Oxford A had racked up the same total score in qualifying, split only on hits. Warwick A started strongly against Oxford A hitting 5 and 5 in the first half. Oxford A's replies (3 and 4) kept them from slipping too far behind, but in the second half of the match, Warwick A battered in another 9 hits, for a second consecutive match score of 19. Oxford A eventually faded under the avalanche of discs from their opponents to end on 12. The 31 discs shot here is the highest match total since the 2017 final. Interestingly, both semi-finals have been replicated at regional league match level this season. Warwick and Lancaster both have 0 wins from 4.

The bronze medal match saw Leeds A take on Oxford A. This identical trio of Dark Blue archers had won silver 12 months ago, but it was Leeds A who hit the front first. Despite being top seeds, Leeds A's hit/miss match scores of 9, 10 and 9 hadn't quite convinced as the top seeds tag appeared to weigh heavily. With the pressure comparatively off, Leeds A suddenly exploded into life and they went 5-2 up. Anxious to avoid a repeat of their semi-final, Oxford A hit back with 5 of their own, reducing their arrears slightly to 7-9. Both teams hit 4 in the third pass as this high quality match unfolded. Leeds A led 13-11 and hit yet another 4 in pass 4 to secure 3rd place 17-13. Leeds were fourth at BUTC 2022, so third place is their new best ever BUTC result - it also matches their best ever result at a national student event. Oxford enjoyed yet another strong BUTC. This is the 2-time former champions' 8th appearance in the semi-finals, but they become the first club to have finished 4th at BUTC on three different occasions: 2009, 2012 and 2024.

The gold medal match pitched third seeds Warwick A against 12th seeds Lancaster. Warwick have contested 8 BUTC finals, winning four, including 2022. One of their team was still around from that triumph. In contrast, Lancaster were in their first final and hadn't won a knock-out match at BUTC since 2017. Lancaster were the second lowest seeds ever to make it to a BUTC final, but had already accounted for 3 of the top 5 seeded teams and wouldn't have feared anyone. Warwick A were coming off the back of consecutive scores of 19 hits. Once again Lancaster needed a good start, but this time, nothing would come. Having opened with a 5/6 in the semis, Lancaster drew a complete blank. Warwick A themselves hit 3 in the first end, so Lancaster were not yet adrift. They were after the second end though. Warwick A thumped in 5 hits with the Red Roses at least getting off the mark with 2. At 8-2 down, Lancaster did spark into life with 3 hits in the next two ends, but the damage was done as Warwick were back to full throttle with 5 and 4, for a final score of 17-8. The final may have got away from them, but what a terrific performance from Lancaster. Second place here is Lancaster's best result at any national student event ever. For their part, holding the Werner Beiter trophy aloft in 2024, puts Warwick level with Edinburgh for the most BUTC titles - five. Warwick's 17 hits in the final is just one short of the final record of 18. Between them, Edinburgh and Warwick have won half the BUTCs there have ever been. In a pleasing piece of symmetry, Edinburgh won 5 of the first 8 BUTCs and Warwick have won 5 of the most recent 8. Both clubs have finished runners up 4 times too, though Warwick can claim top spot in the all time leaderboard - just. Warwick have finished 3rd four times to Edinburgh's three.

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 some of the bosses, timing equipment, with Beiter supplying the foam inserts and 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 Jack Wells and Sheffield, who stepped up when the BUTC was without a venue and did an excellent job. Thanks also to the judging, IT/scoring, broadcasting/commentary teams and absent friends.

BUTC 2024's little yellow discs went spinning at a tournament held in the Easter holidays. Repeated hosting issues caused an unfortunate, but unavoidable delay and without Sheffield's intervention, the tournament would have been postponed until November 2024 or cancelled altogether. However, clearly the new timeslot was not suitable for many clubs and it shouldn't be repeated. One major plus from this edition of BUTC is concrete proof that the tournament can be successfully run in its existing format in a hall that fits 12 bosses - rather than the previously advertised 16. Hopefully that reduction will unlock many more potential hosts.

BUTC started a little over 21 years ago and this year was the 20th BUTC - BUTC XX if you like. That is a lot of events over a long period of time, especially when you consider BUTC's unique character. It is an independent, UK-wide student competition, staffed solely by volunteers. That's before you factor in the music, the noise, the crowd, the discs, the shoot-offs and comebacks, the agony and the ecstasy. It was always supposed to give students a flavour of international competition and we/the current central organising team think it has done that. It is our hope that those cheeky little yellow discs continue to shine on, far into the future.

Quarter Finals

  • Leeds A (1) beat Anglia Ruskin (9)
  • Lancaster (12) beat Oxford B (4)
  • Warwick A (3) beat Warwick B (11)
  • Oxford A (2) beat Sheffield B (10)

Semi Finals

  • Lancaster beat Leeds A
  • Warwick A beat Oxford A

Third/Fourth place play-off

  • Leeds A beat Oxford A

Final

  • Warwick A beat Lancaster

News and Editorials 2023/2024

  • Student archers on Olympic Team [19/Jul/24]
  • BUCS Outdoor 2024 Review [19/Jun/24]
  • Bradford on the brink [07/Jun/24]
  • Bath hold on to take SWWU title [30/May/24]
  • NEUAL crowns its champions [15/May/24]
  • SWWU 8 to who? [11/May/24]
  • SEAL sealed after four matches [01/May/24]
  • BUTC 2024 Review [25/Apr/24]
  • Still spaces in Sheffield [19/Apr/24]
  • Seven spaces in Sheffield [04/Apr/24]
  • BUCS Indoor 2024 Finals [22/Mar/24]
  • Oxford fly away with TOUCAN title [15/Mar/24]
  • SWWU lead changes hands - again [14/Mar/24]
  • TOUCAN leg 3, leg 2 and div 2 leg 3 [08/Mar/24]
  • Dundee dominant in SSS double [07/Mar/24]
  • Qualifying for BUCS [05/Mar/24]
  • BUTC 2024 gets a host and date [04/Mar/24]
  • Calm before the (results) storm [23/Feb/24]
  • SEAL title races hot up [14/Feb/24]
  • SWWU lead changes hands [09/Feb/24]
  • End of January update [02/Feb/24]
  • Round Up: TOUCAN 1, SWWU 4, NEUAL NC [14/Dec/23]
  • SEAL 2 shakes up table [06/Dec/23]
  • Round up: SSS 3, SWWU 3, NEUAL 1 [01/Dec/23]
  • BUTC and E-League latest [29/Nov/23]
  • Surrey pip UEA to SEAL 1 [22/Nov/23]
  • Early Bath for SWWU rivals [17/Nov/23]
  • Dundee go top after SSS 2 [14/Nov/23]
  • Let's get Virtual [06/Nov/23]
  • Sheffield, Strathclyde make winning start [31/Oct/23]
  • BUCS Indoor dates published [26/Oct/23]
  • E-League sign ups now live [12/Oct/23]
  • Regions readying for 23/24 [19/Sep/23]

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