If any fixture in the Varsity programme was a banker, this was it. Easy to say in hindsight, true, but I picked Warwick’s fencing outfit as my Varsity team to watch – and they didn’t disappoint. Unlike BUCS, the Varsity fencing team is mixed; but both genders’ regular sides are performing superbly in their regular season. At the time of writing, the men are top of their Midlands 1A division and the women second in theirs.
So it was no great surprise that the Westwood Games Hall was witness to a comfortable win, if not a complete landslide. In Varsity anything can happen, but the team was never truly troubled – taking the lead early on and never relinquishing it afterwards. In fact, the discrepancy in points between the two sides steadily increased throughout until very near the end of the bout – both in terms of gross numbers and ratio.
In Varsity anything can happen, but the team was never truly troubled
Drama was in slightly short supply as a result, but that’s to the credit of everyone involved and nothing else. There was still time for the odd bit of showboating, crowd-geeing up, and inter-team sledging, as befits any Varsity fixture of course – but generally a very amicable family feel from the large club ensemble pervaded the hall.
Coventry may have been no match for us overall, but they nevertheless had their moments – a particularly diminutive opponent proved a tricky test, and the odd resurgence was sparked by the visitors at the piste. Fencing requires sharpness of foot and sharpness of mind – and the odd absence of either brought out the odd cry of “move your feet!” Whenever such moments came though, Warwick retaliated feistily.
One Warwick swordsman’s blade was shattered in half, the peaceful ambience destroyed – an honour usually reserved for the buzzer. “It’s going on the wall!” the man in questioned remarked afterwards so too is the Varsity Fencing trophy, with the team finishing as 132-108 winners following a valiant Coventry effort at the death. No fuss, no frills, victory secured – that’s Warwick fencing in 2016/17.