Kendo team concede forlorn defeat

Image:  Jack RIchardson

Image: Jack Richardson

Kendo’s third Roses iteration ended in Lancaster’s first win, breaking York’s two-year winning streak.
York’s Kendo Club, much like the sport nationally and globally, has grown in numbers and in reputation in recent years, and its inclusion in Roses, along with other martial arts and more left-of-field events, is a promising move for the sport at University level.
Its inclusion was bittersweet at 2016’s Roses for York however, as their consistently strong record at the tournament was tarnished. As the sport expands, and becomes more prolific so, it seems, does the quality of the rivals.
Newcomer Pedro Wigderowitz faced off against Lancaster’s Xiaoyu He in the first of five fences, and waste back by an early men (head) point scored against him. His attempts at holding He off were in vain, as the latter scored a second point to win the short match decisively.
President-elect (and occasional Sports  Correspondent) Jack Richardson came next against Lancaster President Joanna Low for a long and frustrating match — neither was able to score a point in the three minutes allotted, despite many attempts and visible fatigue from both sides.
York Captain Kris Kim gave York their first win in record time, beating Rain Ginger in under 20 seconds and bringing the overall standings to one win each and a draw.
Next came Peter Reid for York against Laurenz Gerger for the Red Rose, in the second of two draws. As with the second match, the clock ran down as both tried and failed to score points.  Their technique and precision were second to none, but they cancelled each other out as a result.
This raised the stakes even higher for the final match, between current York President Hamid-Reza Danesh-Azari and Lancastrian Captain Adam Roy.
Unfortunately, the palpably tense atmosphere of the match did not last long, as Roy steamed to a win almost as quickly as Kim had done just a few minutes earlier, and took the win for Lancaster for the first time.
The home side took the 4 points on offer, with the final score at 171-93.

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