Imperial Girls make us proud

An injury-stricken team make the crowd shout with excitement at the finals BUCS Champs…

Having scraped a win against Cambridge in the quarter-finals the women’s fencing team were heading to Sheffield for the BUCS championships. In the semi-finals the team were facing Birmingham. It was decided to start the match with epee, knowing that Birmingham had a strong epee team, this was not going to be easy. The Imperial epee team consisting of team captain Emily Bottle, Hannah Bryars and Joan Chang, did a fantastic job of keeping the match close throughout and limited what could have been a significantly worse loss to 2 hits. The same team then continued for the foil, this time though the odds looked to be more in their favour. Things started well with the foil team taking a quick lead to 10-0. After this the problems started, a few unfortunate yellow cards, with the Birmingham team starting to catch up, then Joan fell and twisted her ankle. This meant Gabrielle De Brouwer, who was sitting out as she was recovering from a knee injury gained earlier in the season, had to go on for Joan’s final bout. Despite everything the foil team maintained their lead to win the foil. Finally in the sabre Hannah was joined by Clare Harding and Beth Jelfs. The sabre proved to be a much more straightforward win for the sabre team, who took the lead from first bout and maintained it throughout. With a final score of 128-93 the Imperial team were through to the final.

With Oxford having won their semi-final, the final was looked set to be a close match. The teams had already faced each other twice in the premiership league matches and had a win a piece. Starting this time with the foil, the injured Joan sat out with Gabrielle replacing her. Unfortunately with two extremely strong foilists (including one due to go to the world championships in a few weeks) in the Oxford team, the foil team lost the 30-45. The sabre followed, with an unchanged team from the semi-final. Again the sabre went without any problems winning 45-27. This gave a lead of 3 hits going into the epee. During the break between matches, Clare and Beth had tried their hand at epee. Emily adjudicated that Clare was the least bad of the two but that if Joan could in any way move she was still better than both. Joan made it through her first bout before she was forced to withdraw and Clare had to substitute for her, making a valiant attempt in her first ever epee match. The match remained close throughout, with everyone on the edge of their seats. Unfortunately despite everyone’s best efforts the Oxford team took the epee 45-40 giving them an overall lead of two hits 117-115. Despite the frustration of having come so close in the final, this was a fantastic end to the season which saw the Imperial women’s team lose to only one team throughout the year and gain the silver medals in the team championship. All that was left was to head to the BUCS party to see if Emily could win the chance to dance with Austin Healey.

Mojito, Tequila and pointy foils

Foils drawn, under the gaze of the mid-afternoon sun, IC Fencing novices strode confidently into competition against London’s finest at the ULU Novice Foil Fencing competition. For some their first competition lay ahead, and for others, the experienced, their second. In the heat of a match none of this matters. No nerves, no fear. The mind focuses not on the dripping sweat and aching muscles, nor the weary eyes, but on the flood of memories from past training sessions, evaluating the next move, the pre-emptive strike. What followed by the teams, Imperial Tequila and Mojito, was a display of pure determination and skill.

Both teams eased to early victories in the often tricky opening match, defeating both UCL second and third teams, with impressive scores of 45-27 (Tequila) and 45-32 (Mojito). Imperial Mojito continued to put in a strong performance against UCL first, but eventually succumbed to pressure against a very strong UCL team.

Imperial Tequila’s second match versus Kings was not so clear cut. An evenly matched and intensely fought struggle led to a 44-44 deadlock. All eyes watched on intently as the competitors took their positions. In a display of their skill and confidence, Imperial Tequila took victory. Cheering ensued.

Giving firm opposition, both teams lost their third matches against the two strongest sides in the competition, with Tequila losing to UCL1 and Mojito losing to ULU a close 45-37. Mojito put up a strong performance against the Kings team which gave Tequila such trouble, winning 45-38, an excellent result.

The competition closed with what some claim to be the only match of the competition, the Imperial Tequila-Mojito showdown. The outcome of this match was all important for the final standings of the contest, with a medal position at stake. A closely battled, and needless to say heated match once again came down to one point. The weight of team pride on their already weary shoulders tortured the mind. Imperial Mojito overcame the pressure to win a well deserved final point.

With their victory Mojito took an overall third place in the competition, awarded bronze medal for a fantastic performance on the day. All involved gave impressive displays, a sign of a strong future for IC Fencing club.

Celebrations were short lived however, with post competition drinks at the union. Penalties for the day’s events were delivered by a multitude of shots from the infamous epee guard, penalties for a low overall score, high score, or anything else the team could come up with. The excellent performances of the day soon disappeared from memory.

First Victory to IC Men’s 1st

Victory to IC Men’s 1st Fencing Team vs. Sussex University Men’s.  135-73

This was the first match of the new session for the Men’s 1st and a very convincing win, the team should be proud of the start to the season. Taking to the piste for IC were many new faces assisted by some veterans from the team last year…

The match kicked off with foil. The IC Foilists, in the shape of Ed Collier, Chris Namih and Indy Leclercq, taking an early lead. Finally finishing off Sussex’s Foilists in fine style and a massive 26 point margin. Following them was the Sabre team consisting of; Jean-Romain  Cavaillez, Seung ‘Wookie’ Lyeo and Maiyuran  Ratneswaran.  After a slightly unsure start by Maiyuran, the Sabreuers managed to wake up and pull a 24 point win out of the bag. This left the Epee team to close the match. Following the decisive wins at Foil and Sabre, the match was by this point a foregone conclusion, 45 points being the most one weapon is able to win by, so it was purely for IC pride that the Epee team  were fencing. It was the concept of fencing that seemed to stump, fresher, Marcello Colombino with him losing his first match 5-0. Thankfully the day was rescued by the now experienced, veteran, Alessandro Costamagna and, myself, Edward Gilhead, with Marcello finally working out what to do by the final bout of the match.

Edward Gilhead

IC Fencing Men’s 1st Captain

Women’s vs Kent

After finally having it confirmed we had won the southern premiership by the narrowest of margins, the draw for the last 16 put us up against the University of Kent, winners of the south eastern conference…

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Women's vs Kent

After finally having it confirmed we had won the southern premiership by the narrowest of margins, the draw for the last 16 put us up against the University of Kent, winners of the south eastern conference…

(more…)