Women’s fencing earn tight victory over Birmingham

BUCS Premier League North

Images: Andy Davis

York’s women fencers overcame Birmingham in a narrowly contested match to move up to third in the league.

Despite York taking the upper hand as they won the opening weapon, the visitors hit back by taking the epee before the home side edged out their opponents to win the foil and the match.

However, it was Birmingham who were sharper early on as they won the opening couple of bouts to take a 10-5 lead.

York hit back through Louise Highton and Lizzie Smith to move within a point of Birmingham, and the hosts went in front for the first time as Highton got the better of Becky Mason, as York went on to win five bouts in a row and take the sabre by 45 points to 34.

With York having won their weakest weapon, they looked to be on top but again it was Birmingham who again started strongest, this time in the epee.

York failed to win any of the first four bouts as the away side raced into an 11-20 lead.

A stellar performance from Louise Highton saw her beat Gaby Kettle 10-5 to bring the home side back into the match, but York never really looked like coming back from their sluggish start.

Birmingham took two of the final four bouts to win the epee 42-30 and put them one point ahead of their hosts with one weapon left to go.

With the scores so close, it set up a tense finale as the advantage swung from one side to the other.

Kate Horner went down 7-0 to Rosie Davies before Sophie Mason levelled things up as she overcame Becky Mason 10-4.

As the lead continued to change hands York found themselves three points ahead with just three bouts to go.

Sophie Mason eased the hosts’ nerves before captain Highton saw off Birmingham with a 5-0 victory over Davies in the final bout to take the foil and the match, with York winning 120-110.

After the match Highton was full of praise for her team’s display: “I’m really happy with the way everyone fenced. We should be up to third after this win which is the highest we’ve ever been so I’m delighted.”

There was also success for the men’s fencing as they stormed to a 135-104 win over Bangor in the BUCS Northern League 1A.

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