Fernwood Sword Club at the Yorkshire Open
Saturday saw some great fencing and gold medals for Ed and for regular guest fencer Serena Patel at the Yorkshire Senior Foil Championships in York, for which they were both eligible through membership of Sheffield Buccaneers.
Ed sailed through his first poule of 6 matches, beating 4 fencers from Bradford, Barnsley, Leeds and the University of York 5-0, dropping 1 point to Alistair Lusted of Harrogate and 2 to Archie Broughton of Louth, when Ed's hits bounced off Broughton's chest protector.
This left Ed equal top seed for the second round of poules and he was able to capitalise on this, beating fencers from Leeds, Bridlington, the University of York (ex Southwell Minster pupil Luke Silver) and Bradford 5-0 and dropping a point apiece to Joe Blair and Alex Judge of Louth.
Ed was top seed for the DEs, with a whopping indicator of 55. He beat Alistair Lusted 15-0 in 1 minute 17 seconds in L32 and Kieran Sinfield of Leeds (whom he'd already fenced twice in the poules) 15-4. He had a slightly trickier L8 against Archie Broughton of Louth, a right hander who uses his physical abilities well as a counterattacker. Ed was not always in full agreement with some of the referee's decisions, but came away with a 15-9 win.
His semi final against one of the top GB veterans and fellow Buccaneer, Mike McKay was intense. Ed shot into a convincing lead, but McKay fought back with Ed having to work very hard for his 15-11 win. The match included the hit of the day, with a very intense exchange of bladework, Ed then reversing to the back of the piste with McKay in full pursuit and Ed twisting and leaping a couple of feet into the air to deliver a flick hit to McKay's back.
The final was against 24 year old Austrian, Victor Zsacsek, who is a student at Leeds University. He was the only other fencer to win all his matches in both rounds of poules and on his way to the final had dispatched two excellent left handers in Matt Fitton and Will Lonsdale. This was going to be tough and Ed had to use his experience in international competitions to help him win through. Ed had his plan and attacked with precision. He finished the first period with an 11-5 lead, with Zsacsek getting a point with a few seconds to go on Ed's back line. Zsacsek changed his tactics in the second period and attacked. Ed (as he had in the first period) used his distance and timing well but Zsacsek picked up a number of points. However, Ed made his advantage count and finished with a 15-11 victory to win the gold. He was pleased to be presented with by the trophy by Nick Norcliffe, who won the same trophy 40 years ago and went on to be an FIE (international) referee.
Meanwhile, Serena won all the matches in her first poule of 4 fencers to go into the second poule as top seed. She then won all the matches in her second poule to go into the DEs as top seed. She sailed through her DEs and fenced well and tidily to end the first period of her final against Zoe Law of Leeds University at 14-3 up, finishing with a convincing 15-4 win.