[Katherine Clements | Contributing Writer]
The Men’s Fencing team have won their first match of the season. Until Wednesday 3rd, the Hertfordshire 1st had remained top of the league solely due to all of their opponents pulling out just before matches, resulting in first-place points being allocated by default to the team. The University of Essex 1st, however, did show up to fight – and it was a close run thing.
In sabre (the first of three types of sword, with different rules and fighting styles), the final scores were 45-36 to Hertfordshire. Sabre is a very sharp, almost mechanical fighting style, with no room for dramatic flourishes, and both the head and torso are acceptable targets. Epee, meanwhile, is a far more active and dramatic technique, resulting in some of the most visually stunning bouts. It was a close battle for first place, with some viciously aggressive attacks, and the last bout ended with Essex one point ahead.
Foil, the most common sword, is more flexible in style, allowing for some dramatic duels as well as sharp, abrupt engagements. In this match, however, they were subject to some technical problems, as the electronics that register valid hits played up and began to show off-target points where none had occurred.
However, despite the recurrent technical issues, and the ping-pong tournament being played in the same hall twice stopping bouts when balls landed in the path of fighters, Hertfordshire won by a solid 10 points, with the final scores 45-35.
The overall scores were 134-116, keeping the Hertfordshire Men’s team at the top of the BUCS league. The team posted on their Facebook page, University of Hertfordshire Fencing Club: “Very tense game, but worth it! Well done! Point of the match goes to Laurie, amazing shot!”