Fresh from their appearance on Radio Newark Sport, Fernwood Sword Clubs stars are back in action
Arthur Eakin (fresh from his appearance on Radio Newark Sport on Thursday evening), Lizzie Flitcroft and Ethan Dakin were competing in the Cardiff Leon Paul Junior Series in a sweltering hall on Sunday. The temperature reached a maximum of 32 degrees and 50% humidity, so the organisers reduced the proposed 2 rounds of poules to 1 to avoid any young fencers keeling over.
Arthur won 3 out of his five fights, beating Ryan Zhang of Russell Sword, Oliver Wescott of Cardiff Fencing Club and Dan Cole of Lampeter. He lost 2-5 to Zed Law of Cobham, a very tall fencer who won a bronze medal and 3-5 to Faaris El-Saie of ZFW in London, who won silver. He had a bye to L16 and then beat Andrew Clarke of Salle Scipanovs 10-7. He then met another Salle Scipanovs fencer, the excellent Callum Evans, in L8, losing 4-10 - so more points than last time he fenced Callum. Arthur finished in 8th place, taking him up one place to 7th in the overall LPJS U13 rankings.
Ethan won 4 out of his 5 poule fights, losing 3-5 to Monty Blockley of Crawley Swords. He progressed smoothly through the DEs, including a 10-5 win over Blockley in L8. He then met Alfie Bason of Roselyon School in Cornwall. A full head taller than Ethan, he has suddenly changed his fencing style, including being more assertive. Ethan went 4-0 up, but Bason recovered to take the semi-final 10-6 (and then went on to win). Arthur remains in equal first place in the overall U11 LPJS rankings.
Lizzie faced a very large poule of 12 other fencers. She won 2 fights against Ella Hutton of Celtic Sword and Eloise Lloyd of Team Melia Cymru. She scored points in most of her other matches and had two 4-5 losses, including one against bronze medallist Pako Elseehy of Salle Kiss. She also took 3 points off silver medallist Stephanie Currie of Liverpool. Lizzie went out in L16 to Amelie Russell of Vale Fencing Club and finished in 11th place. She goes up to 20th in the overall U13 LPJS rankings.
Meanwhile, Ed was in an almost equally hot fencing hall over Saturday and Sunday, fencing as the men's foil team captain for Yorkshire in the Senior Winton against 10 other regions. The format is the same as in the Cadet Winton, with men's and women's teams of 3 in each of the 3 weapons. Ed's fellow team members were Viktor Zsacsek, an Austrian postgraduate at Leeds University and 17 year old Archie Broughton of Louth Fencing Club. The weekend started badly with a 2-7 loss to West Midlands. Ed hadn't got himself into gear for the first two fights, but then had an excellent 5-3 win over Dan Robinson, who has fenced for both the England and GB senior teams. There followed an 8-1 win over UK Armed Forces, with Ed winning his fights 5-1, 5-0 and 5-0. The team beat South East 7-2, with Ed winning 2 fights 5-0 and losing 1 4-5. A 9-0 win over Southern followed, despite some odd refereeing (including an inability to count). Ed beat Shazamin Shahrani, the recent winner of the GB Cup, 7-2 by my counting. A slightly disappointing 4-5 loss against North West came next (though North West did win men's foil overall). All three fencers lost 3-5 against Tom Corlett, but Ed fenced well to beat Felix Sudderick 5-1 and finished off the match with a patient 5-0 against Hungarian, Adam Suha. Saturday finished with a pleasing 5-4 win over Wales. Ed and Archie lost to current GB senior Glen Ostacchini, but Viktor beat him 5-2. Ed had a comfortable 5-2 win over Chris Wild and won the match decider against Hugh Kocan 5-3.
Sunday started more brightly than Saturday, with a 7-2 win over North East. The fights dropped were close losses against Ardy Enteshami, against whom Ed squeaked a 5-4 win in his first match of the day. The team then won 7-2 against a strong South West team. The two fights dropped were against the very good Edgar Kursiss of Latvia - Ed did well to beat him 5-3. Other good wins included 3 against Rob Williams, who has been fencing in the GB junior squad this year. The penultimate match, against Eastern, can only be described as controversial, ending in a 3-6 loss. Each of the team lost to Chris Lennon, with Ed and Archie losing 4-5. Viktor and Archie each lost to fencer 2 (who shall remain nameless) and in each case thought they had registered hits on target but which came up as off target. Ed fenced fencer 2 (who had never previously got more than 2 hits against Ed) in the penultimate fight. Ed also thought that he'd got several hits on target which registered as off. After 7 "off targets", at which point Ed was 1-3 down, he got a hit on the lame in clear view which registered as off. On testing, the lame was found to have dead spots. Fencer 2 had to change his lame. Ed wasn't credited with the hit and the fencer wasn't sporting enough to concede a hit (which Ed certainly would have done in similar circumstances). Ed dropped another point and then got a hit on the new lame which registered off and tested off (both caught on video) but then couldn't be replicated after the fencer moved the clip on his lame. Needless to say, fencer 2 didn't concede that hit either, Ed picked up another point then lost the 5th one. The only bright spots in this match were against fencer 3 (who shall also remain nameless). Fencer 3 had been observed warming up at the start of Saturday with fencer 2, and they both spotted that fencer 3's lame had several dead spots, though he then continued to wear it in the competition. Archie fenced him first and (unsurprisingly perhaps) hit the lame and got an off target. On testing he found several dead spots and fencer 3 had to change his lame. On a level playing field, Archie won comfortably, then Ed. How we all cheered when Viktor also won against him, in the last match. Fortunately, the final match was fenced in an excellent spirit - hard fought, but sporting and fair - against East Midlands, comprising Ed's friends and former teammates. Yorkshire won 7-2, with Archie and Viktor losing 3-5 to Alex Schlindwein and Ed winning by the same margin. Regular guest fencer Serena Patel was also fencing for Yorkshire. She won a large majority of her fights, but one of the 3 women's foilists had a bad knee injury for most of the competition, which made it difficult for the team to dominate the matches.
So, the men's foil team won 7 out of 10 matches and Yorkshire overall came 4th out of 11 teams (losing out on 3rd place only by virtue of fights won overall).
There's now a bit of a break in competitions while everyone gets their breath back.......