IT SEEMS like every Ettrick Forest Archer has either done something splendid in a past life, or has signed a contract with the devil in this one.
Either way, it’s not a criticism if you call them fair weather archers, it’s more a statement of fact.
On Sunday, as the summertime storms raged across the Borders, the field at Thirladean was bathed in sunshine for the fourth staging of the Selkirk Silver Arrow. Although the wind was changeable, as if they were caught in the calm centre of the storm, the rain stayed off until they went into the marquee for lunch. As soon as it was time for them to start the second half, it had stopped, and it remained clear and dry until the end of play.
It was that wind that made getting close to the clout a difficult task, with the direction changing almost by the arrow.
But judging it best by far was Adair Anderson, who romped home with a superb 42 hits for a score of 106, including two clouts. He now gets his name inscribed on the plinth which holds the historic Selkirk Silver Arrow for the second time, as well as taking the club silver medal.
Although Anderson was so far ahead of the field, it was nip and tuck for the other awards. Indeed, from third place to ninth, there was a margin of only 15 points.
Winning bronze medals for their efforts in the first and second rounds were Alan Lindsay and Jimmy Stillie respectively, while Stillie beat Adair Anderson, Alan Lindsay, Doug Anderson and Kevin Janiak in the best ends shoot-off by half a bow-length for the other bronze medal.
Also up for grabs was the Philiphaugh Silver Arrow, contested by the club’s ladies.
Once again, it was Elaine Pearson who took the plaudits, with a 42, 103, 1. Ev Craig won the first round medal, while Jenna Agate secured the second round.
And in the best ends shoot-off, Pearson made the marker for the day, her husband Mike, do the extraordinarily silly dance a marker is required to do when an archer hits a clout in these circumstances.
Tradition states the poor fellow must run round in circles, throw his hat in the air and fall over on his back with his legs in the air. This rendered Elaine’s opponent Ev Craig unable to better the shot due to the fact she was laughing too hard.
It has only been a couple of months since club junior Sam Mackay joined up, but he is already showing signs of being an archer to watch.
His score of 85 blew away the club double clout round record for a junior, previously held by Connor Janiak at 67.
He also grabbed a couple of clouts, which meant he left with a good slice of the clout sweep money as well as his silver medal,
This Sunday, several of the club’s members are heading to Mugdock Country Park to take part in the Green Hollow Open Clout, while others hold a Come and Try event at Bowhill House, as part of the Rebellious Reivers and the Avenging Archers event.
Results – Ladies: 1, Elaine Pearson 42, 103, 1; 2, Ev Craig 37, 77, 1; 3, Jenna Agate 27, 51, 0; Helen Ogilvie 12, 29, 0.
Juniors: 1, Sam Mackay 37, 85, 2.
Gents: 1, Adair Anderson 42, 106, 2; 2, Jimmy Stillie 29, 73, 0; 3, Richard Tice 27, 60, 0; 4, Mike Pearson 21, 55, 0; 5, Alan Lindsay 24, 54, 1; 6, Douglas Anderson 20, 51, 0; 7, Kevin Janiak 23, 50, 0; 8, Alan Walker 23, 49, 0; 9, Ian Bradshaw 21, 45, 1; 10, Colin Cairney 17, 34, 0; 11, Jim Craig 13, 31, 1; 12, Rhuary Horsburgh 4, 8, 0.