The Essex team travelled to Ely to compete with Cambridgeshire in a Double Portsmouth using only longbows. The team had to include at least one Gentleman, one Lady and one Junior in the ten best scores from a team of twelve. Ely Archers were the venue hosts in the Kings School Sports Centre. Contrary to the previous encounter this was not a day for shooting outside with stiff winds and heavy rain squalls occurring outside. The judge was Val Ewart and Dr. Caroline Skeels of Kings School was the Lady Paramount.
The team included several new members on their county début (Kevin Button and Paul Clark) and making a welcome return to the county team, Tom Major. Helen Waterhouse was taken ill at the last moment and Paul Clark stepped in to fill the vacancy on Saturday evening – that's impressive commitment.
The venue was very good – plenty of room and well lit. It started slightly early as everyone was assembled and as usual hammered along at a great pace. The first Portsmouth round was finished in two hours and then in a change of plan lunch was provided. It looked to be a close contest at this point but nobody did the maths. Following a very pleasant buffet, the second round started. If anything the food spurred the archers to greater speed and they polished this round off in ninety minutes.
Then the real drama began as the scores were compiled and ordered. After several double checks the final scores were Essex 7743 and Cambs. 7740. The Lady Paramount presented the new trophy to Terry Riddick as the highest scoring member of the Essex team and everybody present was elated by the narrowness of the contest. With much joint congratulations everybody began to make their way home.
A check on the ECAA website showed the two juniors, George Whitley and Laurie Clarke will have set new County records, once ratified.
Congratulations to all archers and family members who accompanied them. Thanks to the Cambridge team for a good contest and for the organisation and roll on 2010.
1st 2nd Combined final score
Lynette Fisher 304 296 600
Laurie Clarke (U16) 268 331 599
George Whitley (U18) 294 288 582
Dave Adams 368 332 700
Charlie Barnes 322 375 697
Kevin Button 378 378 756 Début
Paul Clark 434 452 886
Dennis Foster 430 431 861 Début
Tony Maher 433 417 850
Tom Major 358 366 724
Terry Riddick 451 466 917
Max Room 422 428 850