September 28, 2019

National Tour: Drama at Caldicot

There was drama all the way at today's National Tour compound finals at Caldicot Castle - and one of the major causes was the weather.

The heavens opened early doors and the gusty winds - which were to be a major player later on - built and built. But nothing was going to stop eight athletes with their eyes firmly on the title.

The women's title went to Ella Gibson. She qualified in second spot, beat Bayley Sargeant 137-129 and Lucy Mason 140-133. Her gold medal opponent was fifth seed Layla Annison. She had defeated Victoria Barby 136-128 and top seed Sarah Prieels in a shoot-off.

By the fourth end of the gold medal match it was pretty much neck-and-neck. Then the wind really picked up. Ella shot three nines but Layla opened with a six, fought back with a nine/10 - and a gust carried her final arrow past the target.

Jon Nott, Archery GB's Events and Compound Team manager said: "It's fair to say the wind has played a major role.” And Ella said: "It's amazing to win - but I feel really gutted for Layla. She's a teammate and friend and we wanted this to be a really good match.”

The bronze medal went to Sarah, who beat Lucy 142-132.

The 2019 men's champion is James Mason. He started in top spot and beat Adam Carpenter 142-136 and Neil Bridgewater 143-141. He faced second seed Adam Ravenscroft who defeated Chris White by a single point then Matthew Wong 141-138. Adam surged to an early lead with a faultless first two ends, then James pulled back with three Xs in the fourth end and 30 points as the wind dropped in the fifth, to claim a 147-145 victory.

James, who turns 30 on Monday, said: "I wasn't expecting to do anything today. I haven't been shooting for three weeks because I've been injured and I've managed to do much better than I thought I would!”

Matthew claimed bronze with a 144-139 win over Neil.

There was also a wealth of young talent on show as the Key Event programme reached its climax.

Jenny Bryan went into the competition as the top junior women's seed. She saw off challenges from Paige Jones 138-122 and Chloe A'Bear in a shoot-off to reach the final. She faced second seed Hallie Boulton, who had defeated Maddison Codling 129-124, Grace Chappell 140-130 - and was in no mood to settle for silver. It was close but Hallie edged it, winning 127-126. Third place went to Grace who beat Chloe 137-134.

Ajay Scott took the men's title. The second seed beat Dru Ridding 136-121 and Nathan Thomas 138-128 to claim his title shot. He faced fifth seed Louis Perkins who defeated Thomas Lane 139-135 and top seed Lewis Haslam by a single point. There was only one point in it in the end - but Louis had to settle for silver. Nathan beat Lewis 140-137 to claim bronze.

You can find all the results - plus the line-ups for tomorrow's recurve title showdowns - here.

Above: James Mason celebrates at Caldicot Castle

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