On a beautiful sunny first day of October 2023 Marble Archers hosted the
first competitive shoot at their new grounds just south of Blacklion, Co
Cavan. Archers from far and wide made the trip and were rewarded with
great hospitality, a really well thought out and executed course, good
company and craic galore.
Tea, coffee, biscuits and sausages greeted the arriving archers. We all
stocked up on our fluids and carbs while we chatted, checked our kit,
again, and waited to be sent off to shoot. Marble archer badges to
the occasion were available at the registration desk. A short wait and a
flustered Peter stood up and assigned us to our groups and target
Off we trooped up the hill to our starting spot. It was a bit of a climb
up the hill but not too challenging. Despite the lashings of rain the
day and night before the ground was dry (God bless limestone) underfoot.
The whistle got us going and we made our way round the 14 targets. There
was a mix of walk-ups or fixed shooting pegs throughout the course.
Each target had a title, Trixie, Spike, IncyWincy spider etc with its
own carved sign. Bow hanging pegs were available when necessary. Clearly
a lot of thought and effort had gone into the design of the course as it
wound its way through the woods.
Despite a lateish start we got the first round finished shortly after
12. Time for more coffee, lunch, snacks, chat, comparing thoughts on
which character was your favorite shot, was it DeeDee the DoDo? Or Daddy
bear that was much further away than you thought and still not small! No
matter which was your favourite the verdict on the course was unanimous
– this is a top notch course that is challenging and fun to shoot.
Back out again for a second round of 14. Having gotten used to the
set-up, we were flying it and made it back to base camp in what seemed
like no time at all (time flies when having fun with arrows). The number
crunchers crunched some numbers, medals were handed out, photos taken,
smiles all round and all the visitors got away by 4pm, no doubt happy.

It has been a long and winding road for Marble Archers since they took
their first step from an indoor club to the outdoor venue in
Ballinamallard that sadly didn’t work out for them in the long run. As
already said a huge amount of work has been done in a short space of
time (I got a sneak peak of the place probably in March when it was just
a bare canvas). Everyone at Marble Archers should be very proud of the
venue they have created, especially the Do-ers (who Do the big and the
little jobs that make a shoot special) on the off-chance that I leave
someone’s name out I will just leave it at that.

More photos available at Marble Archers Facebook page: Marble Archers | Facebook