Poor start costs women’s fencing win

UNIVERSITY OF YORK FIRSTS 109-124 MANCHESTER UNIVERSITY FIRSTS
BUCS Northern Premier Division

Images: Philippa Grafton

York women’s firsts fencing team paid a heavy price for a poor start which gave them insurmountable deficit to recover from against a strong Manchester firsts side.

Beginning with the Sabre, York’s Vicki Somers, Jessie Yeung and captain Sophie Mason were hoping for a good start to the contest, but this failed to materialise as they were defeated in eight of the first nine rounds. Only Somers was able to salvage a 5-5 draw against her opponent, meaning that York trailed by 45 points to 20 after the first discipline.

After a crushing opening round, Mason, Yeung, Sophia Henneburg and Wang Wang went into the Foil needing a strong response. Finding themselves 9-8 down after the first 2 games, York then got their first win of the match as Mason emphatically beat her Manchester counterpart 7-1.

This seemed to give the home side the impetus as they recovered from a one point deficit midway through to win the second bout 45-34.

Having won one round each, the aggregate score of 65-79 gave the away side a 14-point lead going into the final and closest round.

Having won the Foil by 11 points, York had hope of an unlikely comeback as Wales international Lori Button prepared to take on her opponent in the Epée.

After winning the opening game 5-2, those hopes were still alive; however, the remaining games were incredibly tight with either side winning a relatively even number of points, meaning the task for York to recover from their large deficit was just too much to ask.

Nevertheless, in her speciality class, Button had the chance to salvage some pride for York by winning the second of three events – despite being unable to win the match overall.

With the scores at 44-44 for the final discipline with only one hit left, both Button and her opponent landed two successive simultaneous hits; however, it was the Manchester representative that would go on to land the final hit, meaning that the away side won not only the match but also the final round.

York gave their all throughout the match, with the match a close contest in both the Foil and the Epée. However, ultimately, the home side’s poor start in the Sabre cost the side dearly, leaving them with a deficit that was simply too large to make up in the remainder of the match.

However, Mason’s side can take a great deal of encouragement from their game. Further battling performances throughout the remainder of the season will see them pick up many more positive results.

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