gair rhydd takes a look at the crowning moments that defined a dominant season for women’s fencing.
by Tom Brien
The season started with the BUCS Western conference with matches against: Plymouth, UWE, Exeter, Southampton, Swansea and Aberystwyth and formidable teams from Bristol and Bath. Last year the women narrowly finished in second place. This year was much more successful for the women as they rapidly clocked up victories, including a strong 128-110 victory against Bristol and a dominating 135-28 display against Aberystwyth. This year they ended up with a comfortable three-point margin over rivals Bristol and winning the league in style.[pullquote]gair rhydd would like to congratulate fencing on their very impressive season[/pullquote]
The next event for the team was the BUCS Trophy. Last year they won this for the first time against Glasgow.
This event saw some of the top teams from all over Britain take part in a knockout competition. In the semi-finals they beat an excellent team from Royal Holloway thwat featured several GB fencers and they then faced top-seeds Dundee in the final, held at the English Institute of Sport. True to form, Cardiff won this match with a 33-point difference, making them the first team, in BUCS/BUSA history, to retain the Trophy.
The same weekend saw members of the team compete in the individual championships. This was a hugely successful event that saw the women collect three top ten finishes, well above that predicted by BUCS.
Next came Varsity. This saw a slightly reduced Cardiff team comfortably beat the team from Swansea and contribute to what was an amazing day for Cardiff across all sports.
This left only one more event for the women compete in, the BUCS premiership playoffs. In the first round Cardiff faced the team from the University of London Union, an immense force in Fencing having won their league in a style similar to that of Cardiff. In a two-way match, finished with a final score of 251-203, brushing aside ULU.
This meant they would face the Premier Leagues bottom dwellers, Queen Mary’s University, a team on the back of fierce competition in the Premier League and featuring a current Swedish International. The match started slowly with Cardiff maintaining a narrow lead throughout, although this did slip at times. In the end Cardiff managed to hold their opponents to a score of 45-38 in all three weapons giving them a final victory of 135-114, earning a place in the Premier League next year.
gair rhydd would like to congratulate the impressive displays throughout the year from the fencing team compromised of Dhania Haron, Ladan Rowaichi, Katie Halil, Rosie Beeston (a novice who has excelled at the sport), Alice Maurel, Lydia Fuller (GB Junior), Lucy Ridsdale (Scotland Commonwealth team), Eryn Spinlove(Team GB) and captain Tessa Lomax (Wales). Their success recognised by the Athletic Union who awarded a number of awards to the team and named them Cardiff University Team of the Year.