Getting 3 wins out of their opening 4 matches (2 wins for the men and 1 for the women) it is safe to say that the Bangor fencing club has high hopes for the coming year. The self-branded Bangor Ayes have picked up a strong contingent of freshers with highlights including returning post graduate Joshua Fielding (still reeling from the apparent culture shift in the club) and ex-GB sabriste Evie Evans (still reeling from her first drink).
At the start of the year the men waltzed over to Liverpool to very valiantly take them to the sword. 135-45 was the final score line and it was certainly a good omen for the year to come. Josh was given the man of the match award for an amazing debut performance, winning 3 of his matches 5-0. Fellow fresher Ammir unfortunately fell fate to the opposite award after not being able to follow along to a simple chant. Back home the women had an even easier go of it as UCLAN failed to even turn up. 135-0 is an even more perfect start to the season than Arsenal FC have had, and they are flying high. Given the brevity of the match awards were not given out but I’m sure the impromptu training session had the women performing exceptionally well.
The men’s team continued to go from strength to strength as Leeds came for a visit. On home ground the men’s team showed the first result was not a fluke as they won 133-104. This match proved the prominence of our fresher fencers as the senior contingent of the squad, Club Captain Tom Prince and I, could be considered as having underperformed. It was a very strong showing from all 3 of the new members of the team and they were instrumental in carrying us to the win after losing, what Tom would call, our strongest weapon.
The ladies had their own trip to Liverpool and after an amazing and nail biting performance they unfortunately fell to the Liverpudlians by a mere 2 points with a finishing score line of 125-127. This was the first time this current women’s team had come together with some having only 2 sessions before having to turn up to match day. It is a testament to their captain, Isabella Wall’s, leadership, and ability to inspire that they were able to come so close against one of the better teams in the league. Izzy went on to win the Woman of the Match award for her performance across all 3 weapons and going above and beyond on the side-line to the point that her voice is still recovering.
On the other side of that coin was Sophie Stewart for adding a bit of levity to such a tense situation by launching herself onto the ground. While the results aren’t textbook perfect the future looks very bright for the Bangor Ayes and it is safe to say that both teams are looking towards promotion. The men’s team’s return to League 1 is especially anticipated after an extremely unlucky finish to the season last year being sent down on point difference. The women’s team are hoping to take that extra step having finished second last season and just missing out on promotion.