A solid team performance and some stunning individual successes characterised a victorious weekend for the Oxford University Company of Archers, in the last tournament of the BUTTS League. Three wins in the five previous legs, at Warwick, Birmingham, Loughborough, Nottingham and Oxford, had left the experienced team requiring only third place in order to win the League title: instead, another impressive victory left the opposition standing. Oxford’s Ben Huckvale added his remarkable record in this competition with a fourth win, to complete a full house of medals from six competitions. With a significant fourteen-point gap over his nearest rival, he outclassed a struggling men’s field which seemed unable combat the poor conditions. “Like any sport the main problem is getting focused right from the start,” he told Cherwell. “I just hope the pressure works for me at the Varsity Match too. I need to be a match for Cambridge’s James Keogh if we are to stand a chance of winning.” Huckvale’s Varsity concerns are especially valid considering the absence of Saturday’s novice winner, Oliver Brown. Brown smashed the BUTTS men’s novice record twenty points to win the competition and take an outstanding third place in the experienced field. Jakob Heidbrink closely followed him second place, and Cath Roberts was second in the ladies event as Oxford drew even further away in the combined medals table. The experienced team Huckvale, Brown, Andrew Tustian and Heidbrink amassed a total score of 2180 points to secure a comfortable margin of victory over second placed Warwick. The novice team of Brown, Heidbrink, Rachel Turvey and Laura Watkins finished a slightly disappointing fourth, their good results in the last five competitions ensured a creditable second place in the Novice League. The Varsity competition expected to be very close, with many of Cambridge’s ‘big guns’ absent last weekend. If Oxford match their performance Saturday, however, the Tabs may have more to deal with than they bargained for: as club Secretary Laura Denney warns, “Oxford have proved themselves a consistently strong team, which bodes well Varsity next week”.
ARCHIVE: 3rd Week TT 2003

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