Written by Angie Garland
This week was our first home match, and as the saying goes, those who are closest are last to arrive. It was our turn as the home team to turn up after the away team arrived. Though I (Angie), being the #keenbean that I am had arrived over an hour before the match (Cancelled lecture – I’m not that keen) to be called away to get kit for said match. After awkwardly waiting at the bus stop outside Beit for 5 minutes, waving on buses as they stopped, for Grace to help with the kit. We went up to the cupboard and proceeded to chat for over half an hour with our lovely President (Carys). We even convinced her to referee for us. Score.
We got to the hall and Royal Holloway were there. Awks. We tried to take as much time as possible to get ready, so all of our team could get here. Though trying to drag a match starting at 1pm out to start the sabre at 4 was a bit too much to ask (Sorry Joanna, you’ll get to be in a match soon!).
The foil started eventually, and it was evident from the get go that Fem was more in her element than she was last match. It was a very close first fight with some really nice hits from both sides, ending 5-4 against. We were off to a positive relatively good start. Maria then came on and had a great first bout and brought it up to 10-7 to us! Tamanna came on next and fought though had some issues with her arm going wild. 15-13 against. Fem came on, however was unable to make significant headway, only getting a single point – though this is still much better than not getting any. 20-14 against. Tamanna came back on and once again her arm ran wild. 25-18 against. Maria had her single worst bout of the entire match (still quite good though) bringing us up to a nice round number 30-20 against. Though during her bout, one of the Royal Holloway girls decided that it would be a really good idea to walk in front of the ref. During a point. Fencing was happening. Lights went off. No one had a clue what happened as the ref could not see whose attack it was. Yay for making foil slower than it really needs to be. Tamanna came back on for her final bout, and this time no one was safe; not the ref, not even the box. It was as if the Mask had taken control of it and was causing as much mayhem as possible. Though that being said it also meant that her opponent was not safe either, the bout ended 35-26 against. It was about now that I had realised that someone had filled in the Away section of the sheet. So we were technically the away team, while playing at home. Fem came on for her final fight, and scored a reasonable 3 hits to their 5 (40-29 against). Especially as the hits against were nice. They even made me think, maybe, just maybe I might enjoy watching foil. That confusing feeling of possibly, dare I say it, enjoying foil was continued in Maria’s bout. Not only was this fight dynamic (and largely on target) there were some lovely hits from both sides. Maria was able to score a WHOPPING 11 hits. That comeback had us anxious not to look away. We lost 45-40. Our closest foil fight this season.
Fem “They’re all cheering for me” Alonge -7
Maria “This girl is on FIREEEEEEE” Constantinescu +7
Tamanna “The Mask” Saghir -5
Épée got under way as we were unable to wait for Monica, so I went on. The first girl had a habit of flèche-ing, and somehow, I’m sure it was pure luck, I managed to get 2 doubles on her flèches. Add another double. The bout ended 5-3 against. Next up Maria, there seemed to be no stopping her in this fight, 7 hits to their 1, left us in the lead. 10-6. Grace went on and fenced hard but unfortunately it was not quite enough. Bout ended 15-13 against. I was up next against their newbie. Worse than being a newbie, she was wearing stripy socks. You can’t lose to someone wearing stripy socks. You just can’t. 20-16 to us. By the next bout Monica had arrived and was subbed on for Grace. She was against fleche-y girl, the bout ended 25-22 against. Maria came back on and she was still on fire. While unable to bring us back into the lead she closed the gap significantly, 30-29 against. Monica went on again, this time against the newbie. It was the Battle of the Stripy Socks. Our striped socks were mightier than theirs, 35-32 to us. Then I went on. This was not my finest bout. Let’s just say I forgot that this was épée – not sabre, and you have to stick ‘em with the pointy end. 40-37 against. Maria came back on and tried valiantly, and it was so close, but after all the effort in a very tense bout we lost the épée 45-44.
Angie “Must remember to stick ‘em with the pointy end” Garland -2
Grace “Best Cheerleader” Collins -6
Maria “I’ll just take seven hits each thanks” Constantinescu +10
Monica “Best Stripy Socks” Mota -3
We went into the sabre knowing that as long as we kept a 7 point lead we could win the match. It was so close we could almost taste the victory. The first bout was not quite the start we had been hoping for, although she fought for it, Monica was unable to score a point. 5-0 against. I came on, and it finally looked like I had remembered how to fence sabre. Also how to exploit opponent’s weaknesses. That bout was the single longest sabre match that I have ever fenced. So many togethers. 10-8 to us. Maria came on, still struggling with understanding the priority in sabre, managed to keep us in the lead, 15-14. Monica after some coaching from Jamie, was able to come on and beast her next fight only dropping one hit, 20-15. Maria came back on and we were still in the lead 25-22. I came back on. Many togethers happened. The bout ended 30-24. Maria came on for her last bout and that bout was relatively uneventful 35-26. If we could keep the score gap we would win. Unfortunately Monica fell afoul of the rules of sabre attacks. Forgetting that if the blade comes down that’s an attack and if that attack misses you need to run away. 40-38 against. By the time I came on for the last bout, we had already lost the match. Now it was simply a matter of pride. I tried but I could not win this weapon for us. We lost 45-43.
Monica “sabre has stupid rules” Mota -12
Maria “I have no idea what I’m doing – but it works” Constantinescu 0
Angie “YAAAAASSSS Sabre!” Garland +10
Overall we lost the match 135-128, proving that it is possible to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. Though win or lose, it is as a team, and I think that this match is a real motivator. We may not have won this time – but we can.
- Women of the Match:
- Maria for not getting a single negative indicator! That is super awesome!
- Our two lovely refs:
- Carys Moller
- Zoe Robinson (can we steal you to always ref sabre? Please please please?)