Sixteen year old, Owen Jordan shines in Sheffield
The 2015 Beazley British Fencing Championships were held in Sheffield over the weekend at the English Institute of Sport. There follows a brief report from each of the individual events.
A field of twenty-four fencers took part in this event and two familiar names took to the piste for the gold medal match – Joanna Hutchison (Camden) and Chrystall Nicoll (Leon Paul Sabre Academy). Both fencers were returning from extended breaks from the sport. A dominant display from the Camden fencer saw her take an 8-0 lead into the break with a combination of solid long attacks and well-timed parry ripostes. Nicholl came out for the second period and immediately began looking for her opponent’s blade to establish the right of way. Despite this proving a successful tactic, the damage had already been done and Hutchison took the title with a 15-8. Harriet Dixon (Oxford University) and Sophie Williams (Truro) were the bronze medallists.
Thirty-seven fencers took part in this event and it was Hannah Lawrence (Wingerworth) and Amy Radford (Malvern Hills Sword) who faced each other in the gold medal match. Lawrence controlled the distance in the first period and accurately picked up hits around her opponent’s wrist. By the first break the Wingerworth fencer led 6-3. Radford came out on the attack in the second period but Lawrence displayed great control and picked off the Malvern Hills Sword fencer time after time. With Radford forced to push, Lawrence was able to continue her patient game and took the title, 15-6. Mary Cohen (Beauvais) and Katrina Smith (Truro) went home with the bronze medals.
With forty-nine fencers taking part in this event it was no surprise that the countries top two men’s foilists, James Davis and Richard Kruse (both of ZWF) fought off for the national title. Kruse started the fight by luring Davis into attacking him so that he could use his strong defensive game to build a lead. At 4-1 down, Davis began to build his attacks more carefully and went 6-5 up. Kruse closed the distance slightly and was able to establish an 11-7 lead by the first break. The second period was a showcase of world class fencing from both Davis and Kruse. With Davis continuing to press Kruse adopted a slightly more aggressive approach and went on to take the title 15-12. The bronze medals went to Ben Peggs (ZWF) and Alex Tofalides (Salle Paul).
A small field of sixteen fencers took part in this event with Ayesha Fihosy (Salle Boston) and Katie Smith (Edinburgh Fencing Club) fighting it out for the gold medal. Fihosy started the fight for the title by holding a long distance from Smith and picking her up on preparation or with counter actions. As the Boston fencer’s lead grew, so did her confidence and she added attacks to the mix. Fihosy dominated the fight from start to finish and ran away with a 15-2 victory. Yvonne Chart (Truro) and Natalia Sheppard (unattached) were the bronze medal winners.
The biggest field of the day – seventy – took part in this event and it was a good day for the younger contingent as Tom Edwards (Redhill & Reigate Epee Club) and Owen Jordan (Touche) fought for gold. A fantastic first period saw Edwards attempting to lure Jordan into attacking him so that he could use a defensive tactic which was countered by Jordan’s explosive and accurate movement. Jordan led 8-7 at the break but neither fencer was able to dominate the tactical battle. This intriguing fight continued with the fencers trading hits and at 10-10, three doubles ensured a tight finish. A tremendously brave beat attack took Jordan to 14-13 but an equally brave hit to foot from Edwards saw him draw level. A well-worked attack into Jordan’s preparation was the winning hit for Edwards. Two Haverstock fencers, Greg Allen and Nick Perry went home with the bronze medals.
The final individual event saw a field of thirty-eight fencers fight for gold. A repeat of the last gold medal match in this event meant that Alex Crutchett (The City) and James Honeybone (Truro) faced off for gold. Another close final followed but Honeybone had to fight back from 7-5 down to trail by just one hit (7-8) going into the break. A great start to the second period from Crutchett saw him lead 11-8 but Honeybone started to vary the distance more effectively and that was enough to see him retain his title with a 15-13 victory. Rubin Amsalem and Joanthan Webb (both from Camden) secured the bronze medals.
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