A new season and the first event of meaning is the county championships. With both last year’s winners, Chris & Kate Howser attending again, it was very much up to the other fencers to push hard to try to knock them off their perches. Kate stormed through 2 rounds of poules with just a single defeat to Chris to be 1st seed after the poules in the Womens event. Chris had a harder time, having lost to Abdul Al Tayib in Round 1 and Andrew Brown in round 2 to be seed 4th in the mens event. With Joshua Myers fencing well and taking 2nd seed and Theo Edwards 5th seed having met Josh in both the first two rounds. The seeding meant that following a win by Theo over club mate Mathew Lever in the last 16, Chris and Theo met in the Last 8 which proved to be a very close match with Chris winning out 15-13. Joshua was proceeding with little hassle with a confident approach and cruised into the Final in style. Chris drew Abdul, who beat him in the poule, however Chris sped to a 6-1 lead and them kept ahead to make the final. In the wome’s event Kate beat OPS’s Jacqui Lever in the Semi Final and then Sylvia Earl in the Final to retain the title with a little to spare. Whilst all this was going on, 11 year old Rachael Lever was having fun in the Under 16 foil event. After beating 3 of the 4 girls in round 1, Rachel was seeded 2nd and had a bye to the semi-finals, the gap between rounds however did not help her and she went out in the semi to take 3rd place, however in an Under 16 event, for an 11 year old fencing a weapon she does not train for, this is still impressive. In the Mens Final between Chris & Joshua, Chris copied his Semi final tactic and clawed a lead at the start of the fight and managed to hold the advantage through the match to take the title for the 4th consecutive year. For the club to take 2 Golds, a Silver and a Bronze in the Senior Epee events (2/3rds of the medals up for grabs) is pretty impressive, especially when last year’s Silver Medallist Fraser Stephen-Smith and our highest Nationally ranked women’s fencer Beatrice Verastegui were unable to attend the event. Well done to all.

Categories: O.P.S. News