On the 28th March Cambridgeshire’s Longbow team took part in the annual Inter County Double Portsmouth Match against Essex. The match was hosted by Rayleigh Archery Club & the venue was the sports hall at Deanes school, Thundersley, Essex.
Despite it being Easter Sunday, team members had a very early start to the day to get to the venue for assembly at 9am.
The team arrived in good time and spirits, and we were warmly welcomed by our hosts with a mug of tea & biscuits. The team appeared very relaxed and this included the three making their County debut. Essex also had three debutants. The format for the match was slightly different to previous years in that the best six scores from eight from each of the two rounds counted towards the team total.
Left to right: Colin Cracknell, Dave Slack, Phillipe Masters, Drew Clarke, Stewart Reader, Tom Hartley, James Bridges, Shaun JacobsCould this be the year for that long awaited Cambs victory? There did not appear to be any nerves from the team and the Team Manager was quietly confident, a view he shared with the team.
The first round was shot in just over 1½ hours with Essex ahead by the small margin of 144 points. Not a massive lead and, with digging a little deeper, surely a shortfall Cambs could make up.
Following a short break for hot cross buns, cakes & more tea the second round was soon underway.
After another 1½ hours the second round was over. Our hosts provided a very nice buffet lunch whilst the scores were checked and validated.
Both teams put in some impressive end totals that would not look out of place on a recurve scoresheet. There was even a 10,10,10 end although that was on an Essex scoresheet. There were a number of 10,10,9’s, 10,10, 8’s & 10,9,9’s from Cambs.
Howeer this was not to be enough. Cambs could not quite dig deep enough to overcome the round 1 deficit & also lost round 2 by a further 176 points. The team result was a win for Essex by a total of 320 points.
Final combined scores: Cambridgeshire 4897 - Essex 5217
The result was closer than in previous years, even allowing for the revised format, & I believe Essex were surprised at how low the margin of victory was.
Congratulations to the team for putting in such a valiant effort and in particular to the debutants for their contribution.
Maybe next year will be our year!