AUFC are hosts with the most at SSS Individuals
The Scottish Student Fencing Championships came to Aberdeen in March. Hosted at AUFC's training facility, the Aberdeen Sports Village, for a pleasant change our fencers only had to roll out of bed to compete!
Men's foil kicked off the first day, with Rory High, Will Mackey, Ross Yule, Torii Douglas-Song and Eden Black taking part. Rory was suffering with what turned out to be tonsillitis but that didn't stop him. Torii put out Eden in the L16 and all others moved into to the L8. Only Rory and Will progressed to the semi-finals, where of course they met each other. It was a match that could've gone either way. However it was to be Rory's day as he marched to a 15-6 win, leaving Will with bronze. In the final, he was firmly put in his place by Alex Arbelet (Napier) but was content to pick up silver.
Women's foil was next, with Mariapaola Paita, Sarah Keith and Taylor Manson in the fray. The number of fencers was small, but the standard was high. Sarah and Taylor both lost out in the L8 but Paola continued her dominance from BUCS Individuals. She took a hard-fought 15-9 over Italian rival Marianna Lanza (St Andrews) in the semi-final before easing to victory in the final over Chloe Campbell (Stirling).
The Sunday had four events - both men's and women's sabre and epee. The men's epee was first to get underway with Rory and Will joined by Tarrick Haynes and Tom Inglis. Will and Rory finished the poule stage as 1st and 2nd seed for the knock-out but Tarrick and Tom did not fair so well, both losing out in the L16. Will cruised into the semi-final, but Rory's illness was starting to get the better of him and he was unable to put up much of a fight as he went down 15-7 to Francesco Meggetto (Strathclyde).
Torii and Eden returned for men's sabre, accompanied by Mattia Caniglia, Jack Stenskie and James Dickie. Jack and Eden both fell at the first hurdle, but James, Torii and Mattia made the L8. While James and Torii did not progress, Mattia did and followed up with a 15-8 victory over Will McBride (Strathclyde) to make the final. Mattia faced Adam Cruickshank (QMU) and amongst the early exchanges, Mattia accidentally cut Adam's head. Adam returned to the piste bandaged up and was too strong for Mattia who lost 15-12, picking up silver.
In women's epee, Mhairi was the only participant from AUFC. She had another strong performance powering to the final where she lost to Agnes Dybeck (Stirling) in a close encounter.
The weekend ended on a high with Sarah and Taylor in women's sabre. Both had safe passage to the semi-finals. Taylor met her match in Chloe Campbell (Stirling), but Sarah annihilated Laura Riddoch (Dundee) 15-3. Sarah and Chloe traded hits the entire fight, but Sarah got the all-important final hit to win 15-14, defending her title. AUFC finished with 9 medals from a possible 24, substantially more than any other club. Congrats to all the participants and especially to our medalists.
Paola wins bronze at BUCS Individuals!
It was that time of year again! AUFC made the long trip down to Sheffield to take on the best students from all over the UK.
AUFC hit the ground running on day one in men's epee as, from 130 competitors, Rory High placed 13th and Chris Liechti placed 26th. Sarah repeated her result from 2015 in women's sabre, finishing 27th.
It was however, day two that made the headlines for AUFC! Italian fresher, Maria Paola Paita won her poule at a canter, progressing as 1st seed from 70 fencers into the direct elimination. She breezed through her first elimination match then, after overcoming Morrison (Imperial), a member of the Scottish junior team, 15-7 in the round of 16, she repeated the dose on Feklistova (Warwick), one of the top British juniors. Unfortunately in the semi final, she lost to defending champion Clarke (Edinburgh). Paola's fantastic performance marks AUFC's first BUCS Individuals medal since Bridget Pleasant's sabre bronze in 2012.
Meanwhile, our other Italian import, Mattia Caniglia placed 15th from a field of 124 in men's sabre, closely followed by Rory in 25th, the highest placing for a non-sabre specialist!
To finish a successful trip, Paola also claimed 30th place in women's epee!
The women back to winning ways
The women's team completed a clean sweep of victories at the BUCS Scottish League. The team saw off their four opponents with relative ease, booking themselves a spot in the promotion play-offs, vying to get back into the BUCS Premier League North.
The men fared well over both league weekends, coming in a strong second place to rivals Dundee, who were fielding an impressive unit with very few weaknesses. A close match with Heriot Watt came down to the wire in the epee, but Rory held his nerve against Jamie Firth to edge out a 4-hit victory. The men's B team racked up a couple of wins, which was great for such an inexperienced set of fencers.
Liechti at Junior Commonwealths
In-coming Men's Captain, Chris Liechti was selected to represent Scotland in epee at the Junior Commonwealth Championships in Cape Town this summer. He didn't fare too well in the poule stage, seeding low and getting a tough match in the last 32 against British junior #4 and England team member Craig Worman. Chris produced a solid display, causing a huge upset by winning 15-13. Unfortunately Chris couldn't pass the last 16, losing to one of the Indian team by the same score. 16th place from 42 entrants was a fantastic effort and he ended up the highest placed Scot. It capped a successful season for him, in which he improved massively!
Men's Team make the BUCS Trophy semis
February and March were hugely busy for the men's 1st team. After beating
Glasgow at home last term in the L32 of the BUCS Trophy, they had to travel to Durham for the L16. They overcame that challenge with relative ease, a score of 128-106, meaning that the next week they had to travel to Manchester. Due to short notice, Rory, Will and Neill had to do all three weapons. This didn't matter as they won 129-119.
The semi-final was away to York in their particularly cold and noisy tent. Again, it was just the three fencers. They won the epee 40-37 but lost the foil, York's best weapon 45-32. That left Aberdeen needing to win by ten hits in the sabre. After a promising start for the guys, York started to claw their way back and unfortunately passed the magic number of 35, with the final score 45-41 to Aberdeen. Overall the score was 123-117, a valiant effort from the boys. This is the farthest the team has got in the BUCS Trophy in years and the club is very proud of them! They will travel back to York in April for the Premier League promotion play-offs and for revenge!