Welsh Fencing

The News section. This presents information articles about people, clubs and events associated with Welsh Fencing.

Another fantastic weekend for the Welsh Team during this year's School Games at Loughborough University.

Rule changes meant a smaller contingent for this year's event, but each brought with them their determination to achieve and a bag load of team spirit.

The individual event started strong, with most of our fencers seeded in the L4 or L8. We had a few near misses with Rhodri Gibbon, in his first games, narrowly missing the L8, Phoebe Dawe (our youngest team member) missing the L4 by two hits and Abigail Watkins and Louise Sadler missing the L4 by just one hit!

Megan Ware took our only individual medal, coming 3rd in the women's sabre. Meg started strong, after a bye into the L8, she faced Scottish fencer and friend Catriona Thomson to make the L4. Leading 8-6 at the break it looked to be anyone's match, but Megan the Megatron had decided today was her day, finishing it 15-8. Her semi final bout was well fenced, but eventually she was knocked out by Elsie Llewelyn (SCO) who is current U17 British Champion. This is Meg's 5th Games having joined the team in 2013 at the age of 12.

The mixed team event was a fantastic show from Welsh fencers.

Foil and Sabre faced Scotland in their semi finals. Foil started strong with a nice 5-2 win to kick us off by Alice Watson, and we were on the heals of the Scottish for most of the bout. However narrow defeat meant a play off with Northern Ireland for bronze.

Sabre started the match a little slow trailing 20-14 going into the 5th bout. However a fantastic 11-1 victory by Erin Corcoran bought us back into the game. It wasn't to be though and the match finishes 40-36 to Scotland meaning a bronze play off with Northern Ireland for Sabre too.

Both teams were victorious in the 3rd place play off taking home the bronze medal for Wales.

Epee, being 4th seed going into the team event had first seed England in the first round. They made England work hard for the win, but found themselves in the play off for bronze with Northern Ireland. With NI the stronger team on paper, Wales had to think tactically, with the boys playing for non-combativity and the girls racking up the points, leaving Dylan Ballard a strong 4 hit lead going into the final leg. Dylan, in his first Games, kept his cool and after a few one light hits from his opponent, gathers his resolve and brought home the bronze for Wales.

It was a wonderful weekend. I want to thank the parents who came to watch and support, particularly for participating in the cheers (oggie oggie oggi as is tradition) and helping keep the athletes motivated and energised. A huge thank you to the coaches - John Rees, Lynne Melia and Rhys Melia - for their hard work, fantastic coaching and good company.

A big thank you to the team who were a credit to themselves, their clubs and their country showing professionalism throughout. You made my job a joy and I hope you all had a fantastic time, with many memories and lessons to take home with you.

Lastly a big thanks to Loughborough University for hosting, the School Games organisers, referees, weapons control, and to Neil Brown, Beth Davidson and Lyn Robinson for organising and running such a wonderful event.

Best of luck to all for the season ahead.

Fran Russell
Team Manager 2017