The Great Hall of our very own Strand campus warmly welcomed UCL for this edition of Varsity Fencing. A tight contest was expected and thatâ€™s exactly what we got as six rounds were held â€“ Women and Menâ€™s Foil, Women and Menâ€™s Ã‰pÃ©e and similarly for Sabre.
The Womenâ€™s team unfortunately lost 2-1 on the final score of 133-101 as UCLâ€™s girls won the Foil and Ã‰pÃ©e rounds, while the Sabre round went to KCL. The event did not start in the best of ways as the first round of the day saw our rivalsâ€™ Foil team outmatch ours as it ended on 21-45 to UCL. They had perfectly managed their early lead and increased the margin as the round went on. Later on, our girls fared better with the Ã‰pÃ©es as we entered the early afternoon, however an early lead by the opposition was held right until the end with the score being 35-45, again to UCL. Starting on a Saturday morning meant that the attendance was not amazing for the first few rounds with only a handful of people in the crowd supporting the locals. However, as the day went by, more and more people (probably woke up and) came to cheer for our team. The final round for the Sabresâ€™ team had all kinds of shouts coming from the Great Hall to help them in their endeavour to bring back one round for the Womenâ€™s team â€“ and they delivered. Though our girls were behind during the entirety of the round after losing their initial lead, they managed an impressive comeback from being eight points down at 12-20, to winning 45-43 with a wonderful last effort by last fencer Daisy Hutton. Well done to the Womenâ€™s team for a great effort!
The Menâ€™s team however retained their title by winning 2-1 on the final score of 129-105 by notably winning the Foil and Ã‰pÃ©e rounds by big margins. The Womenâ€™s loss in Foil was avenged by a very impressive display from the boys who got off to an insane start, leading by 15-3 very early on. A great performance to be noted by Tommaso Corno who won fifteen points while only giving away (around) six. The rest of the round was about managing the gap as it finished on 44-31 to KCL. With the momentum on their side, the Ã‰pÃ©es were put to good use by the local fencers as they held on to their initial lead to win by an outstanding sixteen points on the score of 45-29. Again, the end of the day meant there was a superb turn-up to the last round which was the Menâ€™s Sabre. Stakes were high as a wipe-out of 3-0 was possible in front of a Great Hall that was packed by 4pm. Big crowd seemed to mean big tension as a lot of complaints were being made left-and-right to the referee. The contest was very tight as neither of both sides managed to build more than a five-point gap at any point, a development perhaps possible thanks to Jeffrey Shin who impressively bridged the gap from 15-20 to 24-25 midway through the round. Unfortunately, despite the chants resonating in the hall, UCLâ€™s boys took a narrow win on 40-45. The Menâ€™s team had defeated the opposition overall though, and thatâ€™s what mattered â€“ a massive performance!