FENCING: Coach foils opposition in a tense tournament

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COACH Andie Bayston won Custodians Fencing Club’s annual pre-season one hit Epee tournament.

The event is held to allow new fencers, and fencers from the other disciplines of foil and Sabre to fence on almost equal terms against Epee specialist.

Epee fencers normally compete up to 15 hits, but this event by allowing only one hit, does not allow fencers to take chances they might normally take.

Another twist in the rules for this event is the scoring system that heavily penalises fencers that do not defend the sword, but attack into attacks.

The early round saw some interesting results. Defending champion and assistant coach Tom Bayston had a disastrous start by falling to the double hit curse.

The following round saw him start to ease back into contention, with coach Andie dropping under the radar.

Newcomers Ruth Dean and Donna Hall had some good victories and were close on the tail of midway runaway leader Mathew Clipsome.

At the three quarter stage, victories started to come against the run of play. Junior fencer Theo Edwards, foil specialist Phil Bayston and Kelly Newell started to upset the apple cart. This meant Tom Bayston had now certainly lost his title having suffered more negative points loss with more double hits.

This in turn worked in favour of coach Andie Bayston, who was now right back in it, as was foilist Andrew Clarke making a late run.

With the final round of play, Mathew Clipsome was just in the lead now followed by a chasing pack of fencers that included, Andie and Phil Bayston, Andrew Clarke, Donna Hall, and Ruth Dean.

With club coach Andie Bayston having finished his fights, sitting on six points, all he could do was watch the penultimate fight of Phil Bayston versus Mathew Clipsome for the title to be decided.

Clipsome needed the win to take the title but was fighting Phil Bayston whose club nickname is “Double Hit”.

This tense final round saw Bayston live up to his nickname, and inflicted a double hit defeat.

This meant club coach Andie Bayston won the tournament by default, and unfortunately for Mathew this also relegated him into a share of third place with Ruth Dean and Donna Hall, behind Andrew Clarke gaining second spot.

The event was so close that although Phil Bayston claimed the next fourth spot, three more fencers, Tom Bayston, Theo Edwards and Kelly Newell all shared the next places.

With the main event over, traditionally a small knockout tournament is then held, won by Phil Bayston, who beat Andrew Clarke 5-2 in a fast and furious final.

• The club return from their summer break on Friday when a new course for beginners also starts.

For more information on fencing, call the Castle Sports Complex on 01775 762178, click on www.custodiansfencingclub.co.uk or email Andie on BlademasterGBR@aol.com