Championships glory for Ballyvally archers

JUST under 200 archers from all over Northern Ireland shot in the NI Indoor Championships last weekend.

The championships were hosted by Ballyvally Archery Club in Banbridge Leisure Centre.

The senior championships were shot on Saturday and the junior champs on the Sunday and all the main GNAS styles of shooting were in evidence. These styles ranged from medieval longbow to modern American Compound unlimited and compound barebow.

Also in the ancient section was traditional, shot with a modern recurve bow but with wooden arrows and feather fletchings. The two other styles were Olympic and Recurve barebow and Ballyvally archers did very well in all classes.

In keeping with the world record status the timing was done by traffic lights with green to start shooting, amber giving a 30 second warning and red to stop.

Most archers but especially the juniors enjoyed the experience of shooting to lights rather than the usual whistles.

The juniors did very well - in fact as well as last year taking 10 out of the top 13 awards. In the barebow section, Molly Mathers and Craig McCreery took both titles for Ballyvally while Lauren Corbett and Michael Patterson did he same in the traditional class.

The shield for most improved boy went to Davyd Wilson who improved his score by 219 from this time last year, a magnificent improvement.

In the compound barebow style, Jake Walsh and Shannon Graham are the new Northern Ireland Champions and the other three titles were collected by Rebecca Lennon (girls compound unlimited) Emer Montgomery (Girls Olympic) and Tristan Morrow (boys longbow). Congratulations to all the new Northern Ireland Junior Champions.

The big surprise this year was in the senior championships where Ballyvally archers took 9 titles out of 12 on the Saturday. Once again Robert Mallon and Ruth Gilmour lifted both barebow titles for Ballyvally while Gary Corbett and Andrea Hamilton did the same in the traditional class.

Bernie Scullion and Frank Mulligan got the Compound barebow titles and Valerie Sleith got the longbow title. To finish the nine Northern Ireland titles, Noleen Lilley won the ladies Olympic class and Mel Lawther the ladies compound title. Altogether Ballyvally took 19 out of 25 overall titles!

Ballyvally Archery Club and NIAS would like to thank the main sponsors for their generous contributions and also for coming down to the competition and personally presenting the medals. Their sponsorship is appreciated.

Ballyvally archers would like to wish two of the club’s archers the best of luck. Rune Naeri is currently shooting in the Norwegian Championships and Mark Nesbitt will shoot for a place in the Olympics in a few weeks time.

Mark is down to the last 11 in Britain to shoot for the three places on the shooting line at Lords Cricket Ground and he is also the only archer in Ireland who has qualified to get to that stage!

Ballyvally members are reminded that there are no normal archery sessions this week due to the club’s Easter Bunny shoot on Thursday. As there are still a few places on the line for this shoot on Thursday night, please contact club coach by phone or email. The club’s three day School of Archery will take place on Tuesday 10th , Wednesday 11th and Thursday 12th April at Loughbrickland.