Namoi Valley Archers sent a strong team of 17 archers to contest the Northern NSW Branch Indoor Archery Titles held in Tamworth over the weekend returning with an outstanding haul of 10 gold, 1 silver and 2 bronze medals. The 2 day tournament required competitors to shoot a total of 120 arrows at a distance of 20 yards with each day broken into 3 games of 20 arrows with 5 arrows shot at each end. The tournament attracted a quality field of 73 archers from Newcastle, the Central Coast, Taree, Gloucester, Inverell, Tamworth and Gunnedah. The field featured multiple World and Australian champions with a very high standard of archery on display over the weekend with one competitor shooting 599 out of a possible 600. With fourteen shooting lanes in use for the tournament this meant there was a large gallery watching the action and for many archers this provided a new and sometimes nerve wracking experience shooting under close scrutiny from their fellow competitors as they battled for every point. The quality of the competition was underlined in the Mens Freestyle Unlimited division with the top 3 competitors separated by just 4 points with Newcastle’s Scott Buscombe scoring a narrow win from Scott Dollin of Taree and Adam Tillbrook of Newcastle.
A team event was held as part of the competition with each club entering their top four sighted shooters and their best barebow shooter. Namoi Valley Archers team of Stuart Dolbel, David Buckingham, Matthew Wittman, John Clark and Ann Stubbs finished second behind the powerful team representing the Avon Valley Club from Gloucester.
Namoi Valley Archers showed their dominance in the Bowhunter Unlimited division with Stuart Dolbel showed plenty of tenacity to record a win in A grade with David Buckingham also finishing on top in B grade with a great performance. Peter Stubbs shot consistently to fend off the challenge from Tamworth’s Andrew Springer in Recurve to record a great win while Greg Donovan streeted the field to record the win in Bowhunter Limited. Ann Stubbs continues to improve at a rapid rate posting personal best scores on the weekend to win Womens Compound. Stubbs bettered her score posted at the club practice event only one week ago by a substantial margin outshooting her more fancied opponents. Freestyle Recurve exponent, Ken Thompson, was in superb form scoring a comprehensive win over Reade Moffat who just returned from representing Australia at the World IFAA Championships held in Nambia. Ben Stubbs added to the medal haul with a silver in Mens Bowhunter B grade while Jodi Dolbel battled back from equipment problems late in the last end on Saturday to grab third place in Womens Freestyle Unlimited.
The club’s juniors were in great form with Matthew Wittman finishing the tournament as the highest scoring junior archer after a brilliant performance in Freestyle Unlimited. Amy Stubbs grabbed the gold in Girls Junior Bowhunter division with Shane Thompson battling hard on his way to winning Freestyle Recurve. Sebastian Donovan struggled with equipment problems throughout the weekend but the tenacious Donovan still had enough class to score the win in Bowhunter Limited while Jarrod Stubbs finished third in a hot Boys Bowhunter field.
The focus returns to club activities this weekend with a 3 arrow round set down for the Boundary range on Sunday.