2017 Veterans 4 Nations

England 1, Scotland 2, Ireland 3, Wales 4 - Scotland won gold in Womens Foil.

This year Ireland were the hosts and the event was held in Dalkey, south of Dublin with the Saturday night gala dinner being held in the Royal St George Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire.

For the first time the event was being held over one day. The men’s foil, Women’s epee and the men’s sabre were in the morning with the remaining weapons in the afternoon.

We were delighted to welcome a few new caps. Andrew Munley (ME), Paul Vaughn (MS) and Paul Stanbridge (MF) who made an excellent contribution to the weekend.

The men’s sabre team got off to a great start beating Wales 45/25 and then Ireland 45/35. The match with England was a much tighter affair with the English ultimately winning 45/43 in a tense last match. A great result for the men who came away with a sliver medal for their efforts.

Women’s epee got off to a great start with a convincing win against Wales 45/30. They fenced Ireland next and despite being in the lead early on the Irish were too strong for them and they were unable to hold off and lost 41/32. England were the last match and again the team started well but were unable to hold off a really strong English team losing 45/35 meaning they came third and got the bronze medal.

Men’s foil had England first. The English team was very strong this year consisting of not one, but two veteran ex world champions and although they worked hard and kept it close for the first few bouts England pulled away and Scotland had too much to do to pull back losing 45/25. Ireland were next and Scotland managed to control the fight from the second bout and kept a healthy lead all the way through. With Wales they dominated the match all the way through meaning they came away with the silver medal and second place.

Woman’s sabre had a great start having been warmed up brilliantly by the men in the break. They managed a very convincing 45/4 win over Wales. The second match was with England and this was a much tighter affair. They fenced brilliantly and despite losing 45/38 were pleased with their performance and felt they had the opposition worried! This was the closest result against England in recent years. Lastly they had Ireland and were not troubled here winning 45/28. They came second and got silver.

In the men’s  epee team Hugh Kernohan, anxious to make up for last year's dismal last place, was joined by George Liston, back in a Scotland team for the first time since November 2014 and surgery on his knee, and Andrew Munley, making his Four Nations debut. George got us off to a rousing start with 5-0 in the first bout against Wales and we stayed comfortably ahead through the match, ending with a 45-31 win.  Next came a strong England team of Domek, Buzwell and Johnson.  A 7-1 stint by Hugh over Tim Buzwell gave us an early lead of 10-6 but Ralph Johnson turned it around against Andrew to put us 13-15 down.  From there the match slipped away and we went down 30-45.

Against Ireland we were never behind.  By now Andrew had found his range and was picking up the patterns of team fencing.  He finished strongly with two 5-3 stints which gave the Irish too much to do in the last two bouts as George and Hugh turned 35-22 into 45-32.

On the other piste Wales dramatically beat England from 22-26 down, with final legs of 7-1, 0-0 and an amazing 16-11.  This left three teams on two victories:  Scotland finished in second place, six hits down to the winners, England.

Women’s foil was by far the most closely fought weapon of the day. Scotland had Ireland first and early in the match the Irish put in the wrong person for a fight against Shiela. This was despite Sheila checking with the referee that this was the correct fencer. Another Irish team member noticed at the point of Shiela being 4/1 up in the bout. It was thought that the Irish, having made the mistake should have conceded the match and the suggestion from the referee that Shiela should fight that bout again with the correct fencer was rejected. However, in the spirit of the competition and following some discussion it was agreed that the Irish would reorganise their fencers and just continue the match and Scotland accepted this. The match was a close affair though and the final bout between Sheila and Gilliam Worman was 37 all at time. In the last minute Sheila did a fantastic attack and got the deciding hit much to everyone’s relief. Their second match was England, and with no rest the team had to get stuck straight in, and again the match was close with the lead changing hands many times. In the last fight Sheila found herself again in the same position of being equal at 43 all at time. This time, priority went to the English but again, Sheila’s experience showed and she won the last point. The last match was Wales and by now most of the fencing had finished with only the foilists left. This time the win was a much more convincing affair with Scotland winning comfortably at 45/34. A fabulous and hard day for the team was then well rewarded with first place and a gold medal. This is the third year in a row that the Women’s Foil have won the gold medal at the 4 nations.

This meant that overall Wales were in fourth place with 10 points, Ireland came third with 12 points, Scotland came a close second with 19 points and England retained the trophy with 22 points.

Next year Scotland will be the hosts and we look forward to another hard fought but incredibly friendly and brilliant days fencing.

Here is the link to the final results.

http://www.tinyurl.com/v4n17