Epic 4-hour beat-the-snow journey for fencers

PUBLISHED: 12:24 03 March 2010 | UPDATED: 00:59 16 June 2010

Eight fencers from Sidmouth and East Devon Fencing club set off with their parents for the recent Devon Age Group Championships at Tavistock.

Eight fencers from Sidmouth and East Devon Fencing club set off with their parents for the recent Devon Age Group Championships at Tavistock.

After meeting a heavy blizzard at Okehampton and finding the road to Tavistock impassable due to snow and an accident, all were forced to turn back. Some continued via Haldon, eventually reaching the competition venue after an epic four-hour journey!

Their amazing stamina, determination and in-depth training paid off with some well deserved results and four of the fencers becoming Devon Champions in their age groups.

Only three diplomas for technique were awarded this year and Jacob Siney-Jones and Henry Keates justly received one each. Both showed good footwork, accurate blade work and well thought out tactics.

An exciting final of the boys U-11 event saw Finn Manning, last year's U-9 champion, battling it out against club mate Jacob Siney-Jones fencing in his first competition. At first, Finn was dominant, but Jacob grew in confidence and scored with some very accurately timed movements. Finn eventually won 10-4 taking the title, Jacob gaining the Silver.

Henry Keates put in a stylish performance to win the U-11 boy's title. Ollie Manning (Finn's little brother) and George Evans added to the medal haul by bringing home the Gold in the under-9 and under-17 events, respectively.

Senior coach Val Morrish is especially pleased with the boys as they really enjoy their sport and work hard in training. They have developed good technique which gives them a solid foundation in this very technical and mentally demanding sport.


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