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Stamford Students Return to Public School Fencing Championships

Stamford Students Return to Public School Fencing Championships

Stamford students return to Public School Fencing Championships after an almost 20+ year hiatus.

Students from both SS and SHS competed in a pool of 1250 entries spanning a wide variety of skill levels including European champions.


A squad of nine Year 8/9 boys attended the Mount Haes Boys Epée competition made up of two poule rounds with 20% cuts, followed by knock-out rounds.

With the seeding for the first round being randomly chosen, some poules ended up being far stronger than others (some luck of the draw was needed). Six out of our nine fencers successfully progressed to the second set of poules, with Rory D leading the way with three out of four victories.

James S and Henry M both won a match and missing out narrowly, placed 71st and 74th with 70 fencers promoted. Harry A was unlucky with the draw with closely fought matches, but could not secure a victory so was placed 75th being the highest position fencer without a win.

The second round saw five Stamford fencers into the knock-out round, with William B missing out by a couple of points and Joshua H, Stanley A and Rory D all winning three out of four matches to be joined by Alex S and Ellis B winning two out of four matches.

At this point, only King’s Canterbury had more fencers (with six) still remaining in the event, with Stamford matching the likes of Whitgift School and Eton College – schools with a long, successful fencing history and ahead of Brentwood and Millfield Schools, who were down to four and three fencers respectively.

The knock-out stages (top 51 fencers) with matches to 15 hits saw closely fought matches, with Ellis B experiencing the comeback of the whole event. Finding himself 14-9 down, he fought back securing six single hits in a row to win 15-14.  Rory D made lighter work of his opponent from RGS High Wycombe with a 15-3 victory and Joshua H controlled the fight well to beat his Abingdon opponent 15-13.  Alex S lost out 15-13 to his Marlborough opponent with Stanley A losing out to his opponent from Eton.

The top 32 round, saw Ellis B in another close match, losing 15-14 to his Bromsgrove opponent, with Rory D losing out to a fencer from Benedict’s Ealing.  Joshua H beat the 10th seed, King’s Canterbury opponent 15-12 to make the top 16.

In the last 16, Joshua caused more upset to King’s Canterbury to take a 15-12 win against the 7th seed to make the quarter final.

This matched Joshua against Sean Q, again from King’s Canterbury, a top Chinese national fencer and after a tough fight, Josh lost 15-6. Sean went on to win his semi-final 15-2 and then become the eventual winner of the competition.  Josh’s score of 15-6 was a strong performance particularly given that he only started fencing when he joined Stamford School in Year 7.

Boy’s results

Day two of the Championships on Wednesday (16th March) saw a squad of three girls attending the Mount Haes Girls event for Year 8/9 pupils, running to the same format as the boys event.

The first round saw Florence H, having only started fencing this term, fighting well and securing some great scores including a 5-4 loss against far more experienced fencers, but failed to proceed through the round.  Honey F joined her, having started slowly, securing a win in her fourth match and a narrow 5-4 loss in her last match, but missing out on progressing by one place and one point, ranked 41st with 40 fencers qualifying to Round Two.  Sophia H, by far the most experienced fencer in the group, won three out of four matches to progress comfortably to Round Two.

In the second round, Sophia won all four matches, including a win over the Number One seed after round 1 to make it into the knock-out rounds (top 28).

Nicely controlled matches against opponents from Millfield School (15-10) and Queensgate School (15-8) took Sophia into the quarter finals, where she met the No 1 ranked Under 14 fencer in Great Britain for 2021, from Putney High.  The match was close with Sophia trailing 9-8 going into the final period of the match, but the time pressure meant Sophia had to take risks to try to catch up and lost out with 12-9 to secure another 7th spot for Stamford.  The only fights Sophia lost to on the day was to the eventual winner and the other finalist, whilst winning nine matches.

Girls’ Results

Chris Howser, Stamford School Fencing coach, said, “The performance across both squads was amazing – so many learnings, much worth-while experience gained and most of all, great support and team spirit in evidence on both days. Well done everyone.”

See more Schools’ news considering fencing here.

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