Fencing team put Bristol to the sword

Coach Richard Rapier said he was “relieved and hopeful” after Swansea University men’s fencing team secured a narrow home victory by 101-99 against Bristol University’s 2nds.

The victory, coming on the back of a defeat at the hands of the neighbours of the opposing side, Bath University.

It was ultimately delivered by James Harrington in the final bout of the contest.

It took a real team effort with fine performances across all three disciplines to cement the fine-line victory.

In their first fixture of the season, away to newly relegated Bath, the match had finished 135-97 in favour of the home side, a disappointing result for Swansea University.

Sion Carpenter, the first team captain, was seemingly in an optimistic mood even before the first en-garde had been uttered.

Carpenter said “We’re facing Bristol 2nds, but Bristol 1sts are in the top division and they may call on some of their players.

“We’re confident though.”

Swansea started the stronger of the two sides in the first of the disciplines, the ‘foil’.

George Orchart, Dan Ridsdale and Carpenter all impressed as Swansea won a stop-start contest plagued with foot-faults from both sides.

The second set of bouts, the ‘saber’, were a much brisker affair, with most decisions recorded as clear-cut.

Swansea duly recorded another stage win to leave themselves in a strong winning position before the final and decisive discipline.

Bristol turned the contest around by dominating the ‘eppe’, and sent it right down to the wire.

Harrington capped off a thrilling display to spark jubilant celebrations in the home camp.

Rapier admitted afterwards that he was relieved with the win.

He said: “I am relieved but hopeful for the rest of the season.

“We need to work on the ‘eppe’ but it is nothing we can’t handle”.

Swansea University 1sts 101-99 Bristol University 2nds

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