This year’s Super Wednesday schedule placed the University of Nottingham’s (UoN) Archery team first in the running order against Nottingham Trent University (NTU). Combine pressure to deliver along with a burning desire to avenge a n(arrow) defeat in last year’s Varsity, however, and it’s easy to see exactly why UoN emerged victorious in this scintillating affair.

Coming into this fixture, UoN’s Archery team were well aware of what was at stake. A victory against Trent Archery would serve as a statement of intent for the rest of Super Wednesday’s fixtures, and added some fuel to an already eager UoN team.

Preparation was key for this event. UoN’s own band of merry men arrived cool, calm and collected; the mixed Green and Gold team steadily began to get their eyes in with important pre-match practice routines.

UoN testing their accuracy prior to the first event of UoN’s Notts Varsity Super Wednesday

Beforehand, one could certainly feel a sense of anticipation around the perfectly suited David Ross Sports Village, with a good crowd gathered early to watch the event. Warm-up finished, the midday fixture began, and Super Wednesday was underway.

“Trent meant business, and it was going to take a true team effort if revenge was to be served today. UoN were down, but by no means out.”

“Simply put, quality is to be found in all ranks of the team”

The University of Nottingham’s A team, consisting of Jamie Goodliffe, Charlotte Rossetti and Jess Wallbank were the first to step up. They were to face off against fierce opposition from the Trent A team, the likes of whom included a Team GB regular.

Each UoN archer battled with their respective Trent numbers in the hit-miss format games. It was a true test of nerves. Staunch away support made itself heard in respect to the opposition’s opening efforts. No cries of ‘Green and Gold’ surfaced yet, but then again it was still early days.

UoN looking for revenge early in the match after experiencing the only defeat in Super Wednesday last year

Eventually however, time was called on the testing opener, and UoN’s A team were unfortunate to succumb to a 2-6 defeat. Clearly, Trent meant business, and it was going to take a true team effort if revenge was to be served today. UoN were down, but by no means out.

Down but not out, UoN’s Archery team had to initiate the comeback if they were to get anything from this varsity fixture.

Nerves of steel Novices

Step up UoN Novice team. True to form, the Novices showed exactly why the Archery team are so widely feared and revered. Simply put, quality is to be found in all ranks of the team, and the home crowd was in for a masterful showing here.

Digging deep during a hotly contested 4 rounds, UoN’s Zhen Yuan Gary, Damian Jameson and Derric Toh put on a riveting show against the Trent Novice team. With each archer delivering high scoring rounds, there was a new sense of UoN belief apparent within both the crowd and players.

Jameson leading the Novices’ charge to try and claim the contest for UoN

Whilst watching, it was easy to tell the UoN team believed they could achieve big here, their sentiments and shouts matched by affectionate support. UoN began strong with a 2-0 set lead, however, Trent levelled in the second round, and the third round finished at 4-4.

“It was very nerve wracking

The clock ticked down, and on the sound of the buzzer, UoN’s Novice team claimed victory 6-4, levelling at one game apiece.

Now, UoN were back in the driving seat, and the B team, comprised of Captain Adam Sartain, Alexander Davies and Lizzie Elmer, were in prime position to turn up the heat on Trent going into the final game.

It was to be the tightest closing sets of the fixture, as Trent managed to throw the last of their energy into a strong opening 3 rounds. UoN found themselves in a similar situation during the Novice match up, and were playing catch-up in a battle to make it 4-4 going into the final round.

“This revenge will truly be as sweet as it comes, as UoN Archery walk away with the trophy in their hands as Trent’s bows ended up all in a quiver on the day.”

Was this the moment UoN were to claim their first Super Wednesday victory?

However, the same reserve shown before was to be found in abundance here, as the B team struck bulls-eye with a repeat 6-4 set victory! UoN victory was secured with the score on the day 2-1 overall.

Joy and jubilation, and the perfect start to Super Wednesday for UoN in this tightly contested fixture. Speaking to UoN Archery Captain Adam Sartain post-match, he stated coming into this: “It was very nerve wracking”.

Despite not too much practice before the game, he spoke of a “good feeling” amongst the team. He added: “There was a bit of a sentiment of revenge, and a bit of playful banter going backwards and forwards between us… we knew it could have been either team and we were hopeful”.

This revenge will truly be as sweet as it comes, as UoN Archery walk away with the trophy in their hands as Trent’s bows ended up all in a quiver on the day. The captain’s comments show exactly the positive spirit and drive so many have come to expect from the University of Nottingham’s sports teams.

The Green and Gold with their Varsity trophy after the 2-1 win over Trent

Nottingham Trent University Archery arrived in good form and valiantly fought until the end. Truly, credit must go to them for a strong effort on display in all three games. However, The University of Nottingham Archery Team’s victory today puts them in excellent stead looking forward. There is talent in abundance within this group of individuals, and varsity victory today is a testament to that talent.

Malcolm Wilson

Images courtesy of Impact Images

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