- Men defeat Liverpool 120-114
- Women trounce Keele 135-46 to finish top
WEDNESDAY saw a triumphant turn of form for both the women and the men of the Leeds University Fencing Society. The men’s match proved to be a gruelling, physical encounter that was unbearably close for much of the duration – with the final score being 120–114. The women’s match against Keele University however, was an objectively more straightforward affair.
The Gryphon girls effectively steam-rolled their opponents, thereby earning themselves a phenomenal score-line of 135-46.
Before the match, The Gryphon spoke to male sabre fencer Jordan Au, who has fenced against Liverpool in every encounter of the past three years. He assured us that this was going to be a tough contest. Mere moments into the sabre, this was already proving to be the case. Liverpool clearly favoured the sabre and wasted no time trying to assert their dominance. Their attack was relentlessly aggressive, as they frequently forced Leeds onto the back-foot. Some adept footwork and intelligent parries from the likes of Au and Josh Stuart kept Leeds in contention for a while, but ultimately the Gryphons lost the first bout with a score of 32-45.
The foil was going to be absolutely crucial to the home team’s success, but fortunately it was also where Leeds really came into their own. Ed Sibert managed to get the round-off to a great start, managing to offset his opponent with a lunging, skilful attack. Josh Sambrook was also allowed to shine in this, his favourite class. A collective effort ensured that Leeds took the round with an impressive 45-24 score, which meant that Liverpool would spend the final round chasing points.
With the epée event now underway, the Gryphons only needed 38 points in order to win the day, and thus the name of the game was patience. Leeds could relax and wait for Liverpool to make mistakes, to put themselves under pressure. Bolstered with epée fencers like Cesare Gallozzi, the home team managed to pull through, in what inevitably became a nail-biting conclusion and ended the day with a score of 43-45.
Meanwhile, the women enjoyed a far more dominant victory over Keele University, winning in straight rounds with scores of 45-19, 45-22 and most impressively of all, 45-5. In the sabre, the Gryphons even managed to reach an impressive 22-0 at one point, showing ruthless determination that paved the way for their breathtaking triumph.
Next week, the women will participate in the cup final; a prospect that seems far less daunting after confident victories such as this one. The Gryphonmanagedtocatchupwithwomen’scaptainAvaMartinez-Lambert,whohadthistosay:‘Wefencedreallywelltogetthisfarinthetrophy,andI’msoproudoftheteamformakingitintothefinals.ThematchagainstCardiffisgoingtobeourtoughestoneyetbutwe’regoingtogiveitallwe’vegot.’
For those amongst us that will be heartily cheering them on, we can take comfort in the knowledge that our Gryphons are brimming with confidence, and have a lot of talent left to give.