Men’s Fencing beat Newcastle to reach cup final

Despite being outnumbered two-to-one, the men’s fencing team were ruthless in beating Newcastle seconds, booking their place in the BUCS Cup final later this month

Photograph by Sam Newsome

Photograph by Sam Newsome


BUCS Cup Semi-final

After a convincing win over Durham in the Cup quarter-finals, York firsts were left with only Newcastle standing between them and the final. Judging by previous performances in the league York were the favourites, but the team were far from complacent: Newcastle had recently gained a star player and York’s vastly reduced team of only four men was literally outnumbered two to one.

After the usual haggling over weapon order once again tipped in York’s favour, the match began with epee. Captain Harry Whitwell won a strong lead in the first bout, which was improved by Mike Denniss and Tom Skingle, giving a score of 15-8 after the first three bouts. York went on dominate the rest of the epee, widening the scoreline further. Denniss closed this first weapon with York taking 45 points, conceding just 18. This left both team and all three men with impressive indicators to take forward into sabre.

Confident from their success in epee, York immediately picked up another early lead in sabre. Quickly, the normal rhythm of play was broken when Denniss’ weapon exploded in his hand, sending pieces of sabre flying across the piste as teammates scrambled for a replacement. After York’s impressive start, Newcastle eventually pulled ahead by a small margin. Tom Jones swiftly won back the lead, but Newcastle once again drew ahead. Whitwell narrowed the margin in the penultimate bout, but despite a very strong performance from Jones, Newcastle finished the weapon 8 points ahead.

Expecting foil to be Newcastle’s weakest weapon and needing only 27 hits to win the match, victory was in York’s sights. An impressive opening from Newcastle’s anchor against Skingle cost York the first bout; but the score difference was quickly reversed by Whitwell, who steamrollered his opposite number in the second bout – immediately prompting Newcastle’s captain to substitute himself off. Jones won York’s first 5-0 of the day in the subsequent bout, and soon after that the crucial 27th hit was scored by Whitwell, securing York’s place in the final. Not content with this, York continued to take point after point, with Skingle winning York’s second 5-0 in the penultimate bout and Whitwell defeating Newcastle’s anchor to end the match.

Epee: Mike Denniss, Harry Whitwell, Tom Skingle. Reserve: Tom Jones
Sabre: Tom Jones, Harry Whitwell, Mike Denniss. Reserve: Tom Skingle
Foil: Harry Whitwell, Tom Skingle, Tom Jones. Reserve: Mike Denniss

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