Our termly friendly fixture against Gad’s Hill was, somewhat appropriately, in the last week of term this time and served to showcase all the Ronian fencers have achieved as well as being a fitting finish to Dr. k’s tenure as fencing coach at Saint Ronan’s.
Our teams were as follows:
Senior A: Amelie G (capt.), Liv E and Angus H
Senior B: Aggie E, Felix E (piste debut), Flora H and Clara S (vice-capt.)
Junior A: Harry C, Felix G, Justin K and Theo W (piste debut)
Junior B: Kit B, Merryn C, Phoebe D and Eli S.
Since their last encounter with Gad’s Hill the Junior Bs have really improved and proved this with some impressive and co-ordinated attacks. Old hand Merryn led the fray with strong and continuous attacks, but Phoebe displayed how much she has learnt by fencing relentlessly and successfully. Kit held back a bit more and opted to parry his opponents or profit from their mistakes, a tactic which worked quite well. Eli was keen as ever and launched a number of good actions. However, Gad’s Hill were older, more experienced and ultimately more together, so we lost 29-45 against their B team. When facing the A team in a mini-match to 20 the B team lost again, but a very commendable 12-20, Phoebe having garnered half those points.
The Junior As had their work cut out for them, too. Caught on the back foot right from the start, they trailed Gad’s Hill to 35-20 despite Theo’s strong attacks and Felix’s fast lunges. Then Justin came on and patiently steamrolled his way to 34-40, winning 14 points for the team. Harry then attacked bravely and with panache, gaining 8 points, but it wasn’t quite enough and we lost a very close 42-45. In the second match, facing the Junior Bs, we were more evenly pitched, but at the last moment drew away to beat them 20-17, largely thanks to Felix’s ground-shattering attacks and Justin again, though it was, as always ultimately a whole team effort.
The Senior B team was not numerically depleted, but did suffer from the aftermath of Clara’s trip to Poland and her resulting lack of sleep. Felix started us off and immediately brought us into the lead. Although understandably a bit hesitant as it was his first time fencing electrics, he attacked well, timing his hits to avoid his opponent’s blade. We then fell back, though Aggie kept us in the game with her strong parries and exuberant attacks. Flora made her game defending and notched up important points to keep us on Gad’s Hill’s tail. But we were still 5 points behind. Although usually not an obstacle, this proved too much for our last fencer, Clara, to surmount and we lost 41-45. Funnily enough when facing the Gad’s Hill Senior A team they pulled better fencing out of the hat, in particular Clara who led us from 9-15 to a 20-19 victory!
The Senior As were dominant throughout in both their matches with hardly a moment of doubt ever creeping into the score. So, to keep the match exciting they resorted to breaking blades and dancing on the piste. Liv attacked well, keeping her opponents guessing where her hit was going to land; Angus had strong parry-ripostes up his sleeve and used his reach to set surprising touches and Amelie was fast and furious and elegant as ever as she cut a swathe through Gad’s Hill. We won a comfortable 45-38. The picture against the Senior B team was similar and we won 20-9.
All in all a great day’s fencing. A huge thank you to all the parents that came along to support our team and help with the costume changes as well as to the kitchen who, with its match tea, gave our fencers something worth fighting for.