Forest Fencers Take County Medals
This year’s Hampshire County Foil competition saw New Forest foilists awarded more medals, with an all-Sway final in the ladies’ Foil 1 event bringing gold and silver. A further ladies’ gold and men’s bronze in the Foil 2 rounded out the results for the local teams.
A strong Foil-1 event, again held at Hordle Walhampton School, saw the whole field split into pools to play short three-minute bouts, the winner being the first to five hits. After two rounds of pools, they were seeded according to the number of victories, with Dawn Townsend and Vicki Pritchard ranked 1st and 2nd, and Lauren Begbour close behind in 5th.
The quarter- and semi-finals offered up some tough opposition, with Townsend and Pritchard earning their places in the final. Begbour put up a good fight, her fencing much improved by this season’s training at Winchester, only losing her quarter-final bout by the narrowest of margins. She went on to win the Foil 2 event.
The Foil 1 final was played out in a tense battle between top seeds Townsend and Pritchard. With Townsend already a winner this season at the Brighton Open and the Southern Region Championship, and good 3rd, 6th and 17th placings in the Sussex, Norfolk and Welsh Opens, the form book favoured the foil specialist.
However, form looked like it might be overturned, with Pritchard leading early on, until Townsend regained ground with some skilled angulation attacks to emerge the victor, the final score 15-11.
Lymington-Walhampton Fencing Club’s Niall Cearns, who has recently taken up competitive fencing, won bronze in the men’s Foil 2 competition, promising more for the rest of the season.
Thanks to sponsorship from Lashmars Tax Accountants and grants from the Sported charity to fund equipment and coaching development, Sway Fencing Club is getting more fencers to competitions and more newcomers onto beginners’ courses.
As well as the main club meet on Mondays at Brockenhurst College, there are further club sessions at Applemore College on Waterside and at Ringwood Leisure Centre, with the next round of beginner courses starting early in January. For more details, contact Robin Catling on 01590 683837 or firstname.lastname@example.org Alternatively, check the website at swayfencing.co.uk