The annual Cadet Winton tournament took place at MIllfield School.
Ten competing regions meant Wales faced 54 matches; 486 individual ties with 2, 430 hits on offer over two lengthy days.
Although considered a ‘development’ competition, aimed at introducing younger fencers to bigger events and to give everyone involved a decent amount of fencing, the event is still very competitive.
Wales had a very good first day and were in third place when a halt was called shortly after 9pm. It emerged that stronger opponents remained to be tackled, but reasonable performances on the second day saw us in contention throughout.
Overall, we won against 4 regions, lost 4 and drew 1 match – results which we might have expected to lead to a 5th or 6th place, but once all the scores were in we finished in 7th. The draw (with South West) and a one-tie defeat to overall winners London had made all the difference. We finished 7th, but just a couple of hits in key fights could easily have seen us end up 4th.
Stars of the show for Wales were undoubtedly the girls’ sabre team, who remained undefeated to claim their weapon trophy, a record which included 9-0 whitewash victories over Yorkshire, Southern and South West. The team was so strong that were were able to send Cushla Gray out on loan to under-strength East Midlands for several matches in order that the Welsh girls got as much fencing as possible.
Girls’ epee were also very strong, winning 7 of their 9 ties, including a 9-0 result over South West.
The strength in the female half of the Welsh team also extended to foil, with 5 wins, plus two of the defeats coming by the narrowest of margins.
Boys’ sabre dug in after a couple of early defeats and emerged with three victories.
Boys’ epee fielded a mixture of youth and experience. Three wins for them, but the younger half of the team will undoubtedly improve as a result.
Boys’ foil had a rollercoaster weekend but battled well for their two wins, including a convincing victory over East Midlands.
So success was earned on a tiring weekend.
Behaviour was excellent and some fencers even folded their dirty laundry.
Well done, everyone, and have a happy Christmas.