ENGLISH military victories of the Middle Ages have inspired a Middlesex youngster to county glory in archery.
In fact, it's a real battle between old and new for two of the most promising young bowmen at Greenwood Osterley Archers.
Matthew Pike, 12, and Chris Cassells, 14, both cut their teeth on the standard Olympic recurve bow at the club, based at Grasshoppers RFC off Syon Lane.
But the duo have now deviated onto more challenging bows as their preferred weapons of choice, and have become Middlesex Indoor Champions in their respective classes.
While Cassells opted for the hi-tech route and went for a compound bow, which has bow wheels at each end, Pike chose the more traditional route of the English longbow.
Proud dad Andy Pike said: "Matthew's been shooting for around three years and was initially attracted to archery by the historical side of the sport, and by tales of English archers at battles such as Agincourt and Crecy.
"Today's sport, however, is a little less violent, and the only targets that are shot are circular ones, usually up to 50 yards away!
"He enjoys the sport for its precision and accuracy, which requires a lot of practice and concentration - he's either at a competition or practising nearly every weekend.
"He's attended more than 50 competitions in the time he's been shooting and achieved Bowman class with the recurve bow before moving onto the longbow.
"He currently holds a number of Middlesex County records, both indoor and outdoor, and is looking forward to the weather getting a little warmer, when he can focus on outdoor shooting a bit more."
Both Pike and Cassells were in fine form at the indoor competition held at Spelthorne Archers, Sunbury, earlier this month.
Up against rivals from as far and wide as Surrey, Kent, Buckinghamshire and Berkshire, Pike won the Boys Longbow and Cassells the Boys Compound events - also helping Greenwood Osterley to the overall team prize.
The competition is seen as a warm-up for the Middlesex Indoor Championships in early February, also held at Spelthorne.
* GREENWOOD Osterley Archers were formed in 1985 from a merger of Greenwood Bowmen and Osteley archers, both of which can trace their routes back to the 1950s.
They have members of all ages and shoot with all the major types of bows, including recurve, compound and long-bow.
To enquire about joining, call Jeff King on 020 8575 0618.