March means end of spring term and end of BUCS season. The AGM was held, a new committee elected and Women’s 1st & 2nd and Men’s 1st wrapped up their respective seasons with Championship & Trophy semi-finals and finals. In the middle of everything we also managed to fit in a friendly with Sussex.
The Championship semi-finals were held on the 6th March, on the first of two (to us relevant) “BUCS Big Wednesday”. Men’s 1st faced Edinburgh 1st home at Ethos, whereas Women’s 1st returned to Cardiff. The girls had beaten Cardiff twice already during the season, however they were aware that they could surprise and decided not to take anything for granted. Upon arrival, they found a Cardiff team that had been unable to field all their top fencers, leaving Imperial to confidently win 135-96! The men weren’t disappointed against Edinburgh either, after the sabreurs had started things off with a 45-18 victory. After 40-45 in foil, they needed 24 hits in epee and even if the opponents were strong they were able to score 38-45 before the end of 9 bouts, and both teams were heading to Leeds for Championship finals!
Women’s 2nd had a busy month, with 3 matches: 2 league and the Trophy final. Whilst the 1sts were tackling their semi-finals, they’d travelled out to Brunel but were 6 hits short of a victory (115-121). However, they were still aiming for the Trophy final, the day before Championship finals, more than anything else. In Leeds, they faced Aberdeen 1st, a strong team which had gone unbeaten throughout the year. IC’s girls fought hard, but had to see the return of loss-by-6-points (104-110). They were still pleased with how they’d done, and made sure to end the season on a good note by beating Royal Holloway by 135-98 the following day. Men’s 2nd wrapped up their season against ULU 2nd, a match which ended 123-133.
To break the BUCS trend, and encourage people of all levels to compete together, a friendly against Sussex University was organised. A group of 16 fencers, mixed foil and epee, went down to join their training and turn it in to a mini-competition. After a mix of epee and foil matches, the final winner varied depending on who you asked; they’d won 3 out of 5, however we’d won based on points. We’re obviously going for the latter option and are hoping to be able to host them sometime soon!
Getting people to turn up to the AGM this year had a new twist: pizza. It turned out successful as a whole 30 people joined to vote in a new committee as well as listened to a summary of what has happened through the year.
Championship finals were on last thing, the day after W2nd’s Trophy final. Both were facing Cambridge but the settings were pretty much mirrored: the IC women’s had won the league with Cambridge second having lost only to IC whilst Cambridge’s men had won the league ahead of IC who had dropped two matches, against Cambridge. The ladies started their match with sabre, pulling up to a solid start of 45-32. Epee had a closer call, finishing it at 45-40 but it meant that foil needed 27 hits for us to win the match. Easy some might think, but Cambridge’s foil team is very strong so tension remained high. Outi tackled the first match with some newly discovered creativity and energy, passing the bar to Alice after 5-0. Our foilists were not in for a disappointment, and kept the lead for several bouts whilst showing off some brilliant fencing. 32-45 and victory was ours!
The guys had a harder nut to crack. It started off on a good side, because even if epee lost their final result (38-40) was much better than previous encounters and set the hopes for the rest of the team. Foil had a tougher time and ended at 31-45, putting pressure on the sabreurs to win by at least 45-28. They won sabre, but by 45-44 after having lagged behind for most of the match until Maiyuran stepped up in the last bout and turned it around. However, the points didn’t add up to IC’s favour and had to admit Cambridge the better team.
I thought the March newsletter was going to be a short one, but how wrong could I be! That’s the end of term and I probably won’t be writing much for a while. I hope you’ve enjoyed the year and that you’ll continue joining us for our Friday sessions until term ends!