From an initial seeding at the start of the event of 17th out of 19 teams taking part, the club’s mens team consisting of Chris Howser, Fraser Stephen-Smith and Oli Price started off well with a 45-32 victory over Shetland FC followed by a 45-32 win over a Haverstock ‘B’ team which included former British Champion, Alistair Gerrard and was the team which started the event as 4th seeds.
After these premiminary match wins the OPS team was seeded 4th and by luck again drew Haverstock ‘B’ (now 13th seeds) again in the first round (Last 16) of the knock out round. Following a 5-0 inital bout to take the match lead, the match was a formality with Haverstock B never getting close to catching back that lead and OPS eventually winning 45-33. In the Last 8 the club faced Malvern College ‘B’ and again a 5-0 1st bout win set up a lead for OPS that the Malvern team were never able to threaten, the match ended in a 45-35 scoreline in favour of OPS and guarenteed the club its first ever British Club Team Championship Medal.
In the semi final OPS came up against a Haverstock A team who were 1st seeds and consisted of the main team fencers ranked 2nd, 4th and 5th in the individual british rankings who all train several times a week and all current GB international fencers. This was a big ask for the OPS team consisting of 3 fencers who, due to family commitments, train a tiny fraction of that amount and it showed with Haverstock winning the match 45- 28.
With Haverstock A going on to win the title 45-21 in the final against Sheffield University, the OPS team result of 3rd and only losing to the eventual winners was a real surprise for some. However the experience of the team showed when it counted in the earlier rounds and for a club which did not exist 14 months ago to be winning medals at National Senior level is a sign of where the club is aiming to go longer term.