BB2202 : The Merrie Men versus the QuiverBoys

Wednesday 12th January 2022

I thought I might be late.  Our annual challenge event was due to convene at the Holmescales Activity Centre but I was still at the farm where we were to have lunch.  As I had tried to leave the farmyard, I discovered the lane was blocked by a bevy of large vehicles filling holes in the road with steaming tarmac.  Finished in five, they said.  Did I believe them?  

Actually they weren’t much longer and then the drivers displayed a remarkable ability to negotiate the big machines in reverse through a rather narrow gateway without mishap.  I was impressed.

Tony and Stan had joined the queue and by the time we reached the Outdoor Activity centre most of the participating BOOTboys had arrived.  Coffee was on tap coupled with an absolutely delicious chocolate fudge brownie.

Lots were drawn and we divided into two teams.

Given his name, Robin obviously had to be the captain of his Merrie Men, Tony, John H, Chris and Stephen.  

The other earned his role in a rather sillier manner.  When I sent out the joining instructions, he responded that he was “All of a quiver”.  Consequently I dubbed him Oliver Quiver, leader of the QuiverBoys.  That’s how Martin got the job to inspire Terry, Stuart, Mike and me.

Stan was appointed official scorer as he didn’t want to shoot.  We also had a guest appearance from John PL who unfortunately wasn’t able to take part in the full competition due to other commitments.

Our instructor, Ryan, explained the technique.  One thing surprised me.  When I were a lad, we made bows and arrows from canes and string.  For a right handed person, the arrow was fired from the right hand side of the bow.  These modern bows have the arrow on the left hand side of the bow.  I think that explains my poor scores.  I wasn’t used to that arrangement.  We didn’t do that at Agincourt.

After a couple of practice rounds, the competition started.  The five Merrie Men stood at the allotted positions and each fired four arrows at the target.  Some of them actually hit it.  In fact Robin, Tony and Chris did remarkably well, outclassing the best of the QuiverBoys (Mike) who subsequently took the stand.  

MM 77 : QB 59.

Round two reversed the fortunes with stunning performances by Terry, Martin, Stuart and Mike.

I have to admit that my efforts were not so notable apart from one remarkable shot which actually hit an inner ring, rebounded, hit the ground and somehow bounced back into an outer ring.  Quite how that happened I have no idea.  I thought I deserved bonus points for the trick shot but Ryan insisted that only the lower score could count.  Tony was the only Merrie Man to offer stiff competition in the round.

MM 61 : QB 93

Round three also went the way of the QuiverBoys, again with excellent performances by Stuart and Terry, and despite a huge score of 29 by Tony.  

MM 65 : QB 81

Going into the fourth round (if Stan’s maths were right) the Quiver Boys were leading by 30.  Could the Merrie Men reduce the gap?  No.  In fact it was a tie with no outstanding performances on either side.

MM 54; QB 54

Into the final round with the Merrie Men needing to overcome their 30 point deficit to remain Merrie.  In fact they did win the round, thanks to good scores from both Chris and Robin.  Only Terry starred for the QuiverBoys.  

MM 68 : QB 65

However the gain was insufficient to wipe out the deficit and the QuiverBoys won by 352 to 325.

At the top, the personal scores were very close and strangely three of the best scores were from the losing side (Robin, Tony and Chris) whilst Mike was the only QuiverBoy in the lead group.

Robin and Tony had tied for first place so had a single arrow shoot-off for the Champion BOOTboy Archer award.  

Tony fired first and posted a high score.  Could Robin better it?  Sadly for him, his consistency let him down at the crucial moment and his arrow shot wide.  Tony was the Victor Ludorum.

The event now completed, we headed over to the farm for a hearty meal of bangers and mash followed by sticky toffee pudding.  Lovely.

There was less enthusiasm for the Strongbow cider but what else could one expect to drink on such a splendid day?

The event concluded with the presentations, culminating with the prize for the best archer, Tony.  What was it?  Well, what did you expect?  A bottle of Archers of course.

Don, Wednesday 12th January 2022
Thanks to Mike and Tony for their photos




 Comitibus:  Robin, Chris, Stephen, Tony, Stan, Mike, Terry, John H, Martin, Stuart, John PL, Don


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BB2202 : The Merrie Men versus the QuiverBoys


Wednesday 12th January 2022




Chris, Don, John H, John PL, Martin, Mike B, Robin, Stan, Stephen, Stuart, Terry, Tony


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