Fencing - The NI Junior Foil Series

The NI Junior Foil Series continued at the weekend with round 4 being held at Hunter House Grammar School. With only 9 RBAI boys taking up the challenge of competing, our starting numbers were poor. However, the RBAI fencers who were up for it did well overall and particularly well in the under 14 category, with a gold medal for Matthew Marron yr10 and a bronze medal for Kai Cheuk yr9.

Both boys fought very strongly, winning medals in their age group for the first time. Kai fought a tough and closely drawn match in the quarter-finals against a left-handed fencer from Sullivan Upper School to make it into the semi-finals where he came up against his team mate Matthew Marron. Matthew proved to be the more determined fighter on the piste, beating Kai convincingly for a place in the final. Here Matthew beat a much taller and stronger fencer from Rathmore. He used his quick parry quarte-repost action to score some lovely hits as his opponent tried to rush forward with his strong attack. With the final score at 15/10, Matthew never really looked like he wasn’t going to take the Gold Medal position. Congratulations.In the Under 16, Rowan Luney from yr11 fenced his rival, team mate and friend, Matthew McKay yr11. These two have drawn each other in the knockouts in 3 of the last 4 competitions. Harsh! As it always is, it was a tough match with both boys scoring great, cleverly executed hits the whole way. But Rowan got the edge over his rival for the second time this season, to take his place into the semi-finals match. Here, Rowan was against a fencer from Campbell. Again a close fight, with the scores at 4/4 at the break. But the Campbell fencer successfully, closed the distance on Rowan’s attacks with his fast, blocking counter-attacks. This left Rowan’s attacks too long, with his point going past his opponents shoulder and missing the target. Still, he fenced brilliantly at times throughout the day and was delighted to be bringing back a much deserved bronze medal.

Elsewhere, there were strong performances from Nkosi, Max and Peter in the early rounds. Mention should also go to Michael Thompson yr12, who is too old to compete in this event but who refereed in a professional manner, non-stop throughout the day. A great help to the organisers and a good role model to all our younger fencers.Well done to all RBAI fencers.