Scotland’s fencing stars of the future shine in the secondary school teams championships

The weekend of the 21st and 22nd March saw numerous fencers descend to Kilgraston School to take part in the Scottish Secondary School Teams Championships. All those taking part were eager to apply themselves in order to stake a claim for the medals and trophies on offer throughout the competition.

The weekend’s fencing began with the epee competition. For the girls from Carnoustie High School it was a morning to be proud of. In the junior event, after some superbly fought matches, it was the Carnoustie A side who finished first. Carnoustie’s B team ensured that the A team did not receive all the glory as they finished in an impressive second place. The hosts, Kilgraston, finished in third place to gain some very well-earned medals.

In the girl’s senior event the gold medals found their way to Carnoustie once more as they completed an outstanding day of fencing. In second place it was St Columba’s High School, Dunfermline, who displayed great tenacity to gain their silvers. Linlithgow Academy managed to pick up the bronze medals after ending the competition in an impressive third place.

The boy’s epee competition, in a similar vain to the girl’s, produced some outstanding displays of technique and never say die attitude. The final for the junior boys, between Linlithgow A and Dunblane High School, was a hugely thrilling affair. With some superb skill and resilience produced on both sides, Dunblane eventually triumphed 45-41 after the lead had switched hands multiple times. Linlithgow B claimed the bronze medal after winning the third place playoff.

The senior boys epee final was an all Linlithgow affair as their A and B sides battled it out. The A side eventually took gold after a 45-31 victory in a match that showed great camaraderie between the two well accustomed teams. Dunblane scooped the remaining medals after victory in their third place match.

Once the epee concluded it was time for the sabre events to take centre stage. In the junior girl’s event it was St George’s School, Edinburgh, who successfully battled it out against Linlithgow in the final to grab a gold medal position.

As for the senior girl’s event, St Colomba’s went one better than their Epee competition by winning the final against Linlithgow. St George’s were able to achieve the bronze medal position, which meant the girls from Edinburgh were able to take a nice sabre medal stash back with them.

In the boy’s junior sabre Linlithgow enjoyed another final contested between their A and B sides. In what was a close run affair Linlithgow B eventually triumphed over the A team to gain gold.

The boy’s senior sabre witnessed one of the best finals in recent memory, contested between Linlithgow A and Breadalbane Academy. With Linlithgow trailing 40-35, going into the final bout, the crowd witnessed an extraordinary spectacle as they fought back to win 45-43. With both teams displaying sabre fencing at its very finest they contributed to a memorable match and are fully deserving of their silver and gold medals. Linlithgow added more medals to their count as their B team were able to grab themselves third place.

On Sunday it was the turn of the foil events. Linlithgow won the girl’s junior foil event after fencing very well throughout the day and ably mixing it with the seniors.

In the girl’s senior event it was St Colomba’s who claimed first place, echoing their brilliant fortunes in the sabre. Linlithgow finished a close second after a valiant effort against the victors that ended 45-43. Dunblane High School claimed the third and final medal position after a positive day for their side.

Dunblane enjoyed further success in the junior boy’s event by claiming first place while Linlithgow’s A team finished in second after another well contested affair. Linlithgow B picked up the bronze medal in a similarly impressive fashion.

Linlithgow’s senior boy’s A team grabbed further headlines as the school claimed a hat-trick of senior boy’s gold medals by winning the foil event in emphatic style. Dunblane earned them a highly respectable second place position while Linlithgow’s B team took bronze.

In addition to the medals and winning trophies the style awards were also on offer throughout the day. These awards were given out to one boy and one girl, in each weapon, based on correct technique, perfect footwork, and applied performance. The £10 gift voucher prize was presented in order to recognise those who had done superbly well throughout the respective competition while not necessarily gaining the recognition that being part of a winning team would bring. The style award winners for epee were Adam Bryson, from Dunblane, and Martha Morrison, from Linlithgow. For sabre the recipients were David Moody, of Linlithgow, and St George’s Normandy Simpson-Yeoman. Finally, in the foil event, the style awards went to Luke Davidson and Eilidh Hall both of whom represented Linlithgow Academy. People should most certainly keep an eye on these names in the future.

With the competition now concluded everyone who went along, either as a spectator, organizer, refereee or competitor, can reflect on a hugely enjoyable and positive weekend. For those teams that medalled they can obviously look back upon fantastic performances and increased experience that will help them progress their skill level in the future. Even for those that didn’t medal the competition has still brought about several positive aspects. The extra experience competing brings is a foregone conclusion, but the sportsmanship and the friendliness on show between every fencer is something superb to see. It is clear that everyone taking part enjoys this sport hugely; regardless of whether they bring trophies home or not. The performance level throughout has also been of such a standard that the future of Scottish fencing is looking very bright indeed. By maintaining this, and the approachable nature of the participants, it can surely help the sport to grow in numbers and quality. Congratulations to everyone involved in delivering a successful weekend’s fencing.

 

Some post event interviews (hosted on SoundCloud)

 

For the BBC’s guide to fencing from London 2012 click here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/fencing/16435052

To find a club near you click here: http://www.britishfencing.com/clubs/find-a-club or http://scottish-fencing.co.uk/clubs

 

 

Report by Alasdair Hooper.

Some photographs from the event are available at Mhairi De St Croix's Shootproof page.

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