It was England who claimed victory overall in the annual Student 5 Nations fencing competition on Saturday June 22nd. Northern Ireland, whose women’s foil team included DUFC fencer Ciara O’Connor finished 3rd. Ireland, represented by 8 DUFC fencers, were denied a 3rd place finish by a single bout finishing right behind Northern Ireland in 4th place.
3rd Northern Ireland
DUFC’s 8 fencers acquitted themselves, club and country extremely well. 4 of our fencers had a hand in securing 3 medals in men’s foil, women’s foil, and men’s sabre. Max Milner, DUFC club captain helped the men’s foil team to a hard fought 3rd place. Ciara O’Connor and her N. Ireland team mates placed 3rd in women’s foil, beating her DUFC counterpart Olivia Flynn’s Irish team by a single point. Furthermore, DUFC sabreurs Jack McHugh and Tadhg Garton secured an impressive 2nd place finish for Ireland’s men’s sabre team.
The luck of the Irish is world renowned. Lady luck was against us this weekend, however. Things could have been quite different had a few close fought bouts gone our way. Men’s foil lost to Wales 42-45 in a nail biting encounter after going into the final bout 40-37 up. Victory would have meant 2nd place for Men’s Foil, ahead of Wales. Similarly, Ireland’s women’s foil team lost by 1 point to Northern Ireland in a tense tussle. Finally, men’s épée lost on priority to Wales 43-42 after a thrilling comeback in the final few bouts. Following defeat to Wales, however, Ireland’s men’s épée team, clear underdogs, pulled off a sensational consolation win against England, with DUFC fencer Niall O’Brien winning all 3 of his matches.
With the South of Ireland Championships looming at the end of August, and in preparation for the season ahead, it is imperative that DUFC continues to train hard so that we can emulate the form that humbled the England épée team this weekend.
After all, fortune favours the prepared fencer.