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FENCING - A Successful Weekend for CUFC

Several CUFC team members attended the Coventry and Bedford opens this weekend with fantastic successes. On Saturday 12th October Matt Rowland (CUFC men's 1st team captain) and Ian Reekie (former CUFC men's 2nd team captain) took on a field of 28 at the Coventry Open Mens Epee event. The morning did not start as well as hoped for Rowland as he lost 2 of his 5 fights in the opening round. Reekie fared better losing only 1 fight of 5, earning himself a seeding of 6th with Rowland lower in 11th. Both comfortably progressed through the knockout round of 32, with Rowland winning his match 15-9 and Reekie winning 15-13. Unfortunately Reekie was eventually beaten in the round of 16 earning himself a finishing position of 11th. Rowland progressed through the round of 16, the quarter finals and semi finals with seemingly increasing ease. At this point Rowland was into unknown grounds having never won an open semi-final before, but his determination to win his first national senior title was clear as he took the final to an initial 5-0 lead, leaving his opponent with few options before taking a decisive 15-11 victory.

Richard Morris also entered the Coventry Open foil event on Sunday and was ranked first after the first round. After sailing through to the semi-finals Morris was knocked out in a close fight to the eventual winner, securing a bronze medal.

On Sunday 13th October Rowland and Reekie returned to the fencing circuit at Bedford Open and were also joined by David Burnside (men's 1st team) and Ellie Wigham (CUFC president, women's 1st team). On the mens side Rowland, Burnside and Reekie performed well in their opening rounds, earning themselves seedings of 6th, 8th and 11th respectively from a field of 39. Progression through the knockout rounds proved much tougher than at the previous open in Coventry and Reekie again fell in the round of 16. Rowland and Burnside, luckily on opposite sides of the knockout draw, fought their way hard into the semi-finals surviving a few early scares. With an all CUFC final in sight, both took controlled victories to meet eachother in the last round. As is usually the case in training, neither fencer was prepared to let the other win but at the end of the first 3 minute period Rowland had a 6 point lead at a score of 10-4. Burnside however had decided during his one minute break not to make life easy for his captain and started to crawl back into contention, reducing his deficit to just 2 points, leaving the score 13-11 at the end of the second period. At the beginning of the final period Rowland made it very clear to his team mate that he was ready to win his second title in the same weekend and quickly scored another point taking him within 1 touch to victory. With nothing to lose Burnside came at Rowland with all he had but was only able to score a double, with Rowland taking the title 15-12.

In the women's competition Ellie Wigham was ranked 4th after the opening rounds. After a close 15-14 victory in the first knockout match Wigham proceeded to the finals without too much difficulty, knocking out the top ranked fencer en route. In the competition final Wigham took an early lead however in the later stages of the match her opponent fought back, leading to an overall defeat of 10-15 and she took home the silver.

These early season results are very impressive and provide an excellent positive outlook for the forthcoming BUCS season.