Women’s fencers denied by only one point

The women’s fencers are York’s only club in their respective Premier League. was with the team as they competed in their first top-flight game and witnessed the narrowest of losses for the White Rose

The women's fencers came so close, despite not having captain Louise Highton. Image: Sam Newsome

The women's fencers came so close, despite not having captain Louise Highton. Image: Sam Newsome

UNIVERSITY OF YORK 119

UNIVERSITY OF BIRMINGHAM 120

The women’s fencers suffered an excruciatingly close loss on their Premier League debut, losing by a solitary point to the University of Birmingham. Despite being without their influential captain Louise Highton, York’s only premier level BUCS side fought with remarkable defiance to take the match to the very last bout.

A shaky start in the Sabre saw the visitors take the advantage, with Birmingham’s Great British international Eryn Spinlove partiularly dominant. York though began to rally with club President Becky Ellis, stand in Captain Katharine Gracey and Kate Horner spurring each other on to go into the Foil with only a fifteen point defecit.

From there the pendulum began to swing firmly in the host’s favour and the team gained some valuable momentum in the Foil. Even without a specialist in their side York looked more than at home as Ellis inflicted a 7-2 mauling midway through leaving Gracey to round out the foil with a 5-1 victory.

This left the match delicately poised heading into the deciding Épée, both sides strongest weaponith only three points the difference. York needed to win by three points to level up the scores and secure victory by virtue of having won two of the three weapons. They started well and managed to keep the match alive until the very last bout between the two side’s outstanding perfomers Gracey and Spinlove.

At 39-37 with under a minute left to fence it looked as though York may achieve what had formely looked like an unlikely victory. Gracey came so close to sealing the encounter in her side’s favour but Spinlove proved a formidable opponent nicking the most valuable of points for her side at the end as the bout ended 44-42, consigning York to defeat by one point.

York will be heartened by their performance and stand-in captain Gracey was philosphical about the defeat: ” It was dissapointing but we gave it our all. Hopefully next time we can go better”.

SABRE: UNIVERSITY OF YORK 30 – 45 UNIVERSITY OF BIRMINGHAM

FOIL: UNIVERSITY OF YORK 45 – 33 UNIVERSITY OF BIRMINGHAM

ÉPÉE: UNIVERSITY OF YORK 44 – 42 UNIVERSITY OF BIRMINGHAM

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