Women’s fencing out in quarter finals

BUCS Championship Quarter Final

Images: Lily Grant

The women’s fencing team were today knocked out of the BUCS Championship by an impressive Cardiff outfit.

Having been handed a bye through to the last eight of the national competition, defeat in the epee and sabre classes meant that York miss out on progression to the semi-finals.

Things started brightly for the home side, however, as they opened with a superb display in the foil.

After a somewhat cagey start from all involved, it was a masterclass from captain Sophie Mason that set York on their way, as she extended her side’s lead from two to eight points in a spectacular bout, displaying far superior agility and skill to best her opponent.

That trend continued as Sophia Henneberg and Louise Highton showed their dominance as well, ultimately closing out a much deserved 45-21 victory in the opening round.

Next up was the epee, usually one of York’s strong suits, but this time they would come up against formidable opposition.

The simple fact was that the White Rose were outdone by a better team in the second round, with Mason, Highton, and Lori Button unable to prevent defeat.

The York trio managed to stay within touching distance of their opponents early on, with the visitors struggling to build on a six-point advantage. But that changed as the round went on, and York were eventually left trailing by 15 points at the end of the epee, 45-30 to Cardiff the final tally.

The good news for York was that they remained nine points ahead in the overall scores going into the sabre, which the team had admittedly expected to be their weakest discipline.

Right from the off Cardiff looked like the better team, Jessie Yeung dispatched 5-0 in a lightning fast first bout.

Highton and Mason did their best to adapt to what is not their preferred weapon, but by the time York began to find their feet it was already too late.

Yeung and Highton showed significant signs of improvement, almost doubling York’s sabre score in the final two bouts, but Cardiff were way out in front by this point and were able to secure a reasonably comfortable 45-23 win, which left them 111-98 victors overall.

York captain Mason was left pleased with her team’s showing, but clear on where they need to improve next season. She told Nouse, “We did particularly well in foil, they were really good in the epee, and when it comes to sabre we’re not very strong so they just outclassed us really. Hopefully next year we can get a few more people in to give us a bit more depth.”

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