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Prince William School

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Fencing Success For Prince William School GIrls

Three students from Prince William School, Ellie, Maisie and Rachael travelled the 400-mile round trip to Millfield School, Somerset on 25 February to represent the School in the U15’s British School Fencing Team Championships.

The team completed a weekend of fencing in the girl’s category (Years 9 & 10), with just a single match loss to give Prince William School two British Championship titles and runner up in the third event.

Saturday saw the team competing in the Epee event, a 45-21 win over Plymouth College B team and a 45-28 win over Millfield A team.  This gave Prince William School direct entry into the Semi Final where they were drawn against Guildford High School A, which the Prince William team beat 45-34. 

The Final against a very strong Plymouth A team, (made up of three International fencers from GB/England and Ireland) was well fenced.  However, consistency of strength allowed the Plymouth team to pull away and take the title, with Prince William School a creditable runner-up and bringing home a Silver medal.

Sunday saw the team competing in weapons (which Prince William School actually do not train for).  In the foil event, the school team took on Guildford High School in their first match.  Guildford’s team consisted of two England/GB foil team members with the third member a very competent and experienced foilist.  The match was very exiting with Guildford taking an early 8 hit lead after the second bout.  However, strong performances from Maisie pulled the fight around and with the lead changing bout by bout through to the sixth bout, a stunning 5-0 win by Ellie Tinsley, stretched the lead which Maisie and Rachael just managed to hold on to take a superb 45-44 win. 

Compared to the Guildford match, the match against Millfield A, was reasonably straight forward with a 45-16 score coming with little trouble.  These wins gave the Prince William team a bye into the Final where they had a rematch against a highly motivated Guildford High School Team, seriously wanting revenge for their earlier unexpected loss, this match was again a real battle with the lead fluctuating. Guildford did seem to be more consistently ahead, with them taking a 40-36 lead in the last bout.  This gave Rachael a very difficult task against 2016 England team member Imogen Bullman, however a highly spirited performance produced a 9-3 bout score to Rachael, to give Prince William School a surprise Gold in the event.

The Sabre on Sunday afternoon was great fun for the team with the girl’s taking on Millfield School in the final.  Millfield School is known as one of the best sporting schools in the Country, with former Millfield Sabre fencers representing GBR at World Championships in the Under 17’s, Under 20’s and Senior level categories.  Millfield has a dedicated fencing salle and even has fencing as a curriculum sport.  The Prince William team again took little notice of reputations and showed great general fencing skill and great tactics to score a decisive 45-28 win to take a second Gold of the day and finish off a very successful weekend’s fencing.

The girls are coached by Chris Howser, the British Epee Champion 2005 and former British number 1 fencer. Chris runs fencing clubs in Oundle. 

Chris Howser said: “I am so pleased that all the girls’ hard work and effort has paid off.”  “This was a really stiff competition, but their determination and skill got them through. I’m looking forward to seeing what they can win next!”

With next year’s event scheduled to be held in Nottingham (which is far more convenient), the school will be looking at getting more teams entered.  We are always looking for additional students to take up the sport and go onto sporting success.

If you have a son/daughter who may be interested in taking up the sport, please contact Chris Howser by email at chrishowser@hotmail.co.uk.