Fencing University of Leeds 264 – 193 Manchester
BOTH the women’s and men’s teams saw off Manchester in The Edge on Wednesday, with clear victories across all three sword disciplines with final scores of 135-84 for the women and 129-109 for the men.
Each sword discipline included three team players who, in a round-robin system, as every swordsman from Leeds played every swordsman from Manchester in a race to 45 points. Each sword (sabre, Foil and épée) has its own slightly different rules, with the clearest difference being what striking areas would score points and which would not.
Despite losing the opening three-minute contest, the women’s team quickly asserted their dominance, never letting up on the visitors, taking the first round (sabre) 45-38. It was the second match however with the foil that saw them secure the victory, with Ava Martinez-Lambert, Emma Kurtis and Miranda Carins thrashing Manchester early, with a lead of 18-3 at one point. Unsurprisingly, all three players’ sword speciality is foil and the final score was a very one-sided 45-15.
The match was all but over after that dominant display, with only 8 points needed for the women to be victorious. They quickly secured that within the first two games, eventually going on to win the épée 45-41 in the closest game of the match. After inflicting defeat on Newcastle away last week, the women’s team once again looked strong going into next week.
The men’s team didn’t let the side down either for the Gryphons, taking a clear cut 45-36 sabre win in the first game. In the foil they were even more impressive, with a 45-28 win for Alex Bolton, Josh Stuart and Josh Sambrook. Although the time did at one point begin to run away from both teams, Sambrook successfully caught up with it, scoring a huge ten points in the three minutes of that round.
It didn’t take them long to score the magic twenty points in épée they needed to win overall, but Manchester proudly fought back to take the overall épée round 45-41. With an overall score of 129-109, the men’s team won comfortably enough, with the only downside to their day the death of one of Leeds’ sabres, tragically cut in half early on.
Both teams head to Liverpool next weekend, where they look to continue their winning vein.
Featured image: The Gryphon