We entered 2 teams this year to the Crystal held in May in Dudley. Both teams got knocked out by the team who went onto win.
Gongs: Sutton A came third (Dave, Tomas and Adam)
Sutton B came 8th (Gavin, Stuart and Richard)
Fencers: Gianfranco Muresu (Foil) Ian Bullock (Epee) David Cox (Sabre)
Gongs: Team Silver
Sutton Coldfield once again fenced in the Crystal Open this year, one of the few team competitions on the fencing calendar, gaining second place. It was a good result for the club, who did well in the pool rounds, with the fencers placing 2nd 3rd and 4th in Sabre, Epee and Foil, giving the team an initial first place seeding before the direct elimination rounds. The iitial DE bouts were fairly straightforward with Sutton Coldfield cruising to the semi-final without much difficulty. Here they faced the British Veteran team. In a close fought battle Sutton Coldfield beat the wily Veterans winning 30-28, with Gianfranco breaking down the initial lead that the vets had built up, but not after some controversy involving the scoring equipment.
The final against Wrekin however did not go well for Sutton. With a favourable roll on the fencers sequence (Wrekin were able to field their strongest fencer last) and tired from their battle with the British Vets, Sutton eventually succumbed despite some last minute heroics from Ian Bullock.
Overall this is still a good result for Sutton who improved on their 3rd place from last year.
Sutton Coldfield was represented by three teams this year in the crystal open, a regional mixed weapon competition:
Team A ;Badgers:Gianfranco Muresu (Foil), Ian Bullock (Epee), Dave Cox (Sabre)
Team B ;Scoundrels: Gavin Rudge (Foil) Ben Phillips (Epee) Terry Stanton (Sabre)
Team C ;Dreaming: Julie Foster (Foil) Martin Simpson (Epee) David Swan (Sabre)
Highlights: All the teams fought really well with the abilities shining through throughout the day. Even so some mentions must be made for some exceptional performances.
David Swan fought brilliantly in sabre considering he had not slept night due to unforeseen circumstances. To turn up was great; to perform as he did winning more than half his fights was even better, even if he was standing on caffeine and adrenaline.
Gavin Rudge came out of the initial pools ranked third and pulled off the only victory against the strongest fencer in the competition FIE ranked David Alexander, who had it not been for Suttons most mischievous fencer, would have walked away with the best foilist title without dropping a fight. Gavin has been working for a long time for many years on how to win bouts to five points, and its seems to be working.
Julie Foster and David Cox provided brilliant examples of how in team fencing the last fencer nearly always has to battle to the last, providing nail biting finales to assaults.
The silverware this time came from team A:Badgers; who lost the aptly named Stourbridge ‘Squirrels’, long time rivals of Sutton. After very tightly fought epee and foil bouts the score line was a mere 4-9 lead for Sutton after twenty minutes; (maximum score line could have been 19-19). In the end David Cox faced a long and arduous fight to 30 Points against GB veteran sabreur Steve Potter, with Sutton narrowly losing 24-27.
Next Time Squirrels, next time!