Local fencers have been in superb form lately in national championship events.
Members of the OPS (Oundle, Peterborough & Stamford) Epee Club, which has only been going for three years, have struck gold five times in the British Championships.
The club’s head coach, Chris Howser, led the way by adding the 2015 British Veterans title to the Commonwealth crown he won in 2014.
After a 10 out of 10 winning record in the preliminary rounds, Howser soon started storming through the field of 80 fencers in the knockout stages and reached the semi-finals with nobody getting closer to him than 10-6.
His semi-final against former senior GB squad fencer Nigel Fancourt was much tighter and at one point the score was 8-8. However, Howser scored the final two points to win 10-8.
The final against Steven Domek started well for Howser as he pulled out a lead from the start with a mix of in-fighting and long distance hits. Eventually he won 10-7 to land his first National Veterans (Over 40) Championship.
At the other end of the age-scale, fencers from the OPS Epee Club competed at the British School Team Championships at Brunel University and enjoyed more success.
The King’s School, Peterborough, team of Grace Wyer-Roberts, Holly Elkington and Chloe Elkington scored a marvellous win in the Year 9/10 Girls epee category, beating possibly Britain’s most successful sporting school, Millfield, in the final.
That was followed by a bronze medal for the Year 9/10 Boys team of Marcus Arnold, Harvey Stephens Dunn and Henry Hart.
The Oundle & Kings Cliffe Middle School then continued the local success and Ellie Taylor, Maisie McCormack, Rachel Lever, Amber Yarland and Taylor Sheehan were really the stars of the show.
Not only did they successfully defend their Year 7/8 Girls epee team title, but they also won the sabre and foil titles as well.
And they were truly in a class of their own with 45-21 the closest anbybody got to them.
Head coach Howser was delighted with the results.
He said: “For a fairly newly established club to have club fencers winning four British School Team Championship titles, as well as an additional bronze medal, shows how hard the kids work to reach the top of their potential.”
With the OPS Epee Club now running the Yarwell Musketeers club for younger children, fencing locally is available for those as young as five.
Visit www.eliteepee.com for club information and contact details.