Close but no Cigar

Imperial Men’s 1st v. Southampton Men’s 1st After the setback of the first match, last week was crunch time for the Men’s 1st fencing team as then needed nothing less than a win to keep their chances of being promoted alive (and to stop the gloating from the 2nd team). This chance came in the form of a home match against Southampton.  

Like the previous match, foil was the first weapon to be contested and following the slightly under par performance the week before, there was a large amount of pressure on them to step it up a gear. With this in mind, the captain decided that a change was required in the anchor position (the most important position in the team). However, contrary to all advice given to him, instead of putting himself as anchor he chose Nathan (much to Nathan’s disappointment). Unfortunately this change did not have the desired affect and foil ended with a deficit of 11 hits in favour of Southampton.  

Next up was epee to salvage the mess the foil team had created, and after a rocky start (mentioning no names Ed) they started to make up the deficit. In particular, Sjoerd’s stunning individual performance, handing out 7 unanswered hits, to gain the man of the match award. Consequently by the time the epee team had worked their magic the scores were level, at 79 hits a piece.

The last weapon of the contest was sabre, bearing the hopes of the team (especially the underperforming foilists). Again, they did not get the perfect start everyone wanted, however with an excellent come back, Alex steered the team in to the lead, so that going into the final bout imperial led in sabre (and overall) by 2 hits. Thus after 26 bouts of fencing the whole match came down to the 27th and final bout, nevertheless things were not meant to be and we lost by a narrow margin of 5 hits. Yet again only leaving the trip to the bar as consolation.

Imperial 1st v. ULU Men’s 1st

Hard fought match doesn’t quite go right for Imperial…

The first match of the season saw the Mens 1st Fencing team away to the University of London. With both team captain Chris and club president Chris having spent much of the summer training with the ULU team, there was a certain amount of healthy rivalry going into this match. First up was the foil match, having both fenced ULU’s top foilist on many occasions there was much debate over which Chris should take the anchor position for the final bout. Captain Chris decided against taking it himself which meant he started the match with the first bout against their top foilist.  Despite a hard fought fight, after losing this first bout the Imperial team never quite managed to regain the upper hand, with Nathan, the one member of the team to never have fenced any of the ULU team, having the most success (who said left handers were awkward). Chris decided to substitute himself for reserve Alex for his final bout, but even this change to a fresh fencer did nothing to save the foil team and left the other Chris with an unenviable chase in the final bout. With the pressure on Chris went into the bout knowing that he had beaten his opponent before, though this though was not to be his day and the foil victory went to ULU.

Epee was up next, despite being experienced fencers all three of the epeeists are freshers so this was their first BUSA team match  and added to that they were going into it knowing the team really needed a win in epee to keep them in with a chance of winning. The first bout started well for Ed but after a close fight eventually went ULUs way. Sjoerd and Alessandro’s bouts followed in a similar vein and despite the best efforts of all three fencers by the time it came to the final bout, short of a minor miracle a win was realistically beyond Imperials grasp. Despite this Alessandro was not giving up that easily and gave the ULU fencer a good run for his money.

Finally up last was the sabre and short of winning by a huge margin this was mainly for the pride. Sabre started well with an easy victory for Charlie over the injured ULU captain and continued well. Despite being primarily a foilist Alex had the best performance of the match in sabre (and was ultimately the only member of the team to avoid the forfeits in the bar later). All was looking good until the final bout where despite good performance until this point Wookie gave away 11 points of their lead before finally managing the 5 needed for a win in sabre. Unfortunately this win in sabre was not enough to make up for the previous losses and ULU won the overall match. All that was left was a trip to the ULU bar for a drink with our hosts and to administer the forfeits for bad performances, though whilst there, small consolation was found in the news that the Mens 2nd team had at least won their first match.

Imperial 1st v. ULU Men's 1st

Hard fought match doesn’t quite go right for Imperial…

The first match of the season saw the Mens 1st Fencing team away to the University of London. With both team captain Chris and club president Chris having spent much of the summer training with the ULU team, there was a certain amount of healthy rivalry going into this match. First up was the foil match, having both fenced ULU’s top foilist on many occasions there was much debate over which Chris should take the anchor position for the final bout. Captain Chris decided against taking it himself which meant he started the match with the first bout against their top foilist.  Despite a hard fought fight, after losing this first bout the Imperial team never quite managed to regain the upper hand, with Nathan, the one member of the team to never have fenced any of the ULU team, having the most success (who said left handers were awkward). Chris decided to substitute himself for reserve Alex for his final bout, but even this change to a fresh fencer did nothing to save the foil team and left the other Chris with an unenviable chase in the final bout. With the pressure on Chris went into the bout knowing that he had beaten his opponent before, though this though was not to be his day and the foil victory went to ULU.

Epee was up next, despite being experienced fencers all three of the epeeists are freshers so this was their first BUSA team match  and added to that they were going into it knowing the team really needed a win in epee to keep them in with a chance of winning. The first bout started well for Ed but after a close fight eventually went ULUs way. Sjoerd and Alessandro’s bouts followed in a similar vein and despite the best efforts of all three fencers by the time it came to the final bout, short of a minor miracle a win was realistically beyond Imperials grasp. Despite this Alessandro was not giving up that easily and gave the ULU fencer a good run for his money.

Finally up last was the sabre and short of winning by a huge margin this was mainly for the pride. Sabre started well with an easy victory for Charlie over the injured ULU captain and continued well. Despite being primarily a foilist Alex had the best performance of the match in sabre (and was ultimately the only member of the team to avoid the forfeits in the bar later). All was looking good until the final bout where despite good performance until this point Wookie gave away 11 points of their lead before finally managing the 5 needed for a win in sabre. Unfortunately this win in sabre was not enough to make up for the previous losses and ULU won the overall match. All that was left was a trip to the ULU bar for a drink with our hosts and to administer the forfeits for bad performances, though whilst there, small consolation was found in the news that the Mens 2nd team had at least won their first match.

Imperial 2nd v. St. Georges 1st

Imperial Men’s 2nd Fencing team got their season off to the perfect start with a hard fought victory against St George’s 1st team that went right to the wire.

Late arrivals dictated that Sabre would be fenced first. St George’s took an early lead when Will Hoy found himself defeated 3 – 5 in the first match and despite Luka Lukic, Maurice Berk and the aforementioned Will battling valiantly, it was a lead they were never able to overcome, eventually succumbing 38 – 45 in that weapon.

Foil was up next and this proved to feature some of the most controversial and electrifying moments of the match. Ez Hassan eventually made his way to a 5 – 3 victory in the first match, with tensions running high over debatable referring decisions. Next up was Norris who struggled in his first contest, managing 4 hits to their 7 and surrendering the lead. Nathan Blundell scored 5 in his first, leaving the contest balanced on a knife edge at 14 – 15. Norris then redeemed himself with a fine 6 – 2 victory over the opposition captain before Ez further extended the lead to 25 – 20. Nathan then produced some simply sublime fencing, thrashing their best foilist 5 – 1, apparently putting the game beyond doubt at 30 – 21, and earning himself the man of the match award. Yet rather than rolling over and accepting their fate, St George’s bounced back with two massive victories, leaving the final score for foil a nail-bitingly close 45 – 43.

Going into épeé, the combined scores stood at 83 – 88, requiring the final weapon to be won by at least 5 points. Luka set the ball rolling with a 5 – 3 victory and Maurice’s blushes due to a 3 – 7 defeat were saved when Ez followed this up with a 7 – 2 victory, leaving Imperial 3 points in the lead. Maurice’s 5 – 5 draw in the next match up did nothing to change the situation while Luka’s hard work to extend the lead by 2 points in his 5 – 3 victory was partially undone when Ez found himself on the wrong end of 5 – 6 score line. With 4 points in the lead and 3 matches to go, team captain Maurice stepped up to the piste and exploited the inexperience of his opponent to the full with a resounding 5 – 1 victory, increasing the lead to 8 points and seemingly putting the match beyond doubt. Ez drew his final match up 5 – 5 while Luka made sure with another excellent performance in a 5 – 1 victory, leaving the final score for épeé 45 – 33 and the combined score 128 – 121.

Imperial wins IDEA League

Imperial College Fencing Club wins the IDEA League Fencing Event 2007. The competition against four other leading European universities saw mixed teams compete against each other throughout the day. Imperial fought off stiff competition from TU Delft, RWTH Aachen, and ETH Zurich while ParisTech dropped out at the last minute. Photos and more soon…