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A blog entry! 2014 - 2018 Part 2.

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The bow went away again then until August 2016. Setting up a target in our new garage, tried to get in there most evenings after putting Harriet to bed. Now working in Little Billing, Northampton meant it would be tricky time-wise to get to Brampton to shoot with Duston Bowmen. So upon re-affiliating I joined Northampton Archery Club. They shoot at Sywell Range during the summer and at Moulton College during the winter, both of which are much easier for me to get to from work. I think my very first session back was at NACís other outdoor venue at BBOB rugby club, though Iím not 100% sure. I remember shooting there with Mick Lovell and Susan Corless, and canít think when else I would have done so. My memory is pretty bad.

By early October I must have felt comfortable enough to start scoring rounds. On my app Iíve got a 275 Worcester shot on one of Targetcraftís Friday night sessions. Another Worcester 276 and a 568 Portsmouth, both shot at Moulton. My first competition came soon after on 9th October, Kettering Archers 2nd Chris Mason Memorial Worcester. It was really great catching up with everyone, and felt good to be back competing. It was quite nice also to not be expecting a big score, I told myself I would be happy with 270. Simon Stubbs, Jeremy Beesley and Shahram Montasser were all shooting. Plus Steve Allen had been shooting well, I was happy just being somewhere amongst those guys. I think I started the round ok but had plenty of shaky shots throughout. Ended on 278 and in second place behind Simon on 284. Thoroughly enjoyed it.

Next shoot was the Buckinghamshire Indoor on 6th November in Milton Keynes. Held at St Paulís School these days, where my brothers and sister all went to school after we moved to Milton Keynes. Session A, again nice to catch up with people I hadnít seem in a while, thereís still some of the same old faces around from when I was a member of SALT. The round started of fairly steady, got a little tired towards the end putting a couple of 8ís in. I was pleased with 573 though, turned out to be the highest gents recurve score on the day.

On the 20th November I made my way up to Rainworth in Notts for the EMAS Indoor, first session. Again, great to see a few familiar faces, especially Craig Bowley. Got a ĎAh, does that mean youíre back?í from Alistair Whittingham. I knew this wasnít got to be a score, I hadnít practiced on a small triple at all. All the same I still found myself getting a bit frustrated and didnít even bother taken a pic of the score sheet at the end. Scored 534 with a miss and finished 10th. Glad I went though.

4th December was Targetcraftís record status Portsmouth. Session C, had a quite a good start with 117 for the first dozen. 115 the next, then a few 8ís crept in for two 112 dozens. Needed a 60 finish to salvage the score a little but it wasnít quite enough. 572 got be second just a point behind Jeremy with 573. Two points ahead of Steve on 570.

Shoot with the club on 17th December for their Portsmouth series, this was the second round, I hadnít done the first one. I donít remember too much about the round, the app shows a 112 start and also a 111 fourth doz. Overall not that great, 567 finished a point behind Mick Lovell who was shoot pretty consistently.

My app shows a 580 Portsmouth on 30th December a club night. 3rd January was the Duston (David Clarke Memorial) Triple. I entered the Worcester and Vegas only, knowing that three rounds would be a struggle. In fact two rounds proved to be too much and I retired half way through the Vegas having had a miss. The shots were taking too long and my fingers started hurting. The Worcester wasnít too bad, 281 put me third behind Simon Stubbs who shot really well on 290, and Jeremy on 285.

Didnít do very much in early Feb according to the app, at this point I was shooting quite a lot in the garage I think. I shot a full face WA18 at the club on 16th Feb, scoring 555 ahead of the Targetcraft WRS WA18 that Sunday 19th February. I think I did the last session, arriving with the hall really busy I put my kit together outside in the corridor. Colin Geenes came out of the hall and said hi as he was leaving. He said heíd shot ok in his second session. The scores from session a were on the wall and heíd scored 567. Turned out heíd shot 576 in the second! I canít remember much about the round other than not having a great start but otherwise shooting ok. 559 got me second place, ahead of Simon Stubbs with 549.

All I had left after this was the county indoor on 12th March, hosted by Targetcraft. Iím not going to lieÖ I really wanted to win this. Partly because I knew this was going to be my last shoot for a while again, with baby number two arriving in the summer. I tried to shoot as much as possible in the couple of weeks leading up, including taking a day off work to shoot at Chiltern on the Friday before, shooting two rounds, 582 and 578 so felt ready enough. On the day itself I remember feeling excited. Not just about the possibility of winning it for the first time in a while but more about the fact that it was a possibility. I was excited about the challenge Iíd set myself, and that this was the where I had a chance to achieve it. This is why I love this sport, for this feeling. Not the feeling at the end so much, although that is great especially when you win or achieve what you set out to. Itís the feeling of anticipation, that slight nervous feeling where you hope youíre going to have a good session.

Session C, the scores were on the wall again from the first session only, and I think Mick had the current highest score with 565. Shahram, Jeremy, Simon and Steve were all shooting this final session. I started well. 59, 58 with a couple of 30ís for 117. Same again for the second dozen, 117. Felt comfortable and in control. I remember Shahram saying he wasnít shooting well, putting a couple of early reds in. Simon looked like heíd had a decent start, Jeremy also. First arrow of the next dozenÖ. disaster. It went high right just off the face about 2mm out. I must have shot it off the top of my button. I hadnít done this for so long, the last time I could remember was at the National Indoors in 2010. Now that feeling sucks. A silly error which could have been avoided if I had noticed. An 8 later in the dozen gave me 105. A determined 118 next, then a tired 7 in the last dozen gave me 112 and 569. Martin Gulliver of Audco Archers won overall with 572. Jeremy shot solidly and won the county trophy with 571. I was disappointed but, at the same time I knew Iíd done enough and had shot quite well. I find that now, I always check that my arrow is on the rest properly while positioning my hand in the grip.

From there I had intended to try and keep it going, shooting in the garage from time to time over the next few months, but not often enough to stay at the poundage. Soon the garage became too full of stuff and shooting wasnít as easy. Imogen arrived in July and to be honest I hardly thought about shooting again after that.

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