Redemption day for Nottingham M3s who battled to a glorious victory against Loughborough 1s last Wednesday after losing more than half of their team and being beaten by Loughborough weeks before.
It was a nerve-wracking start to a mentally and physically straining fight for M3s fencing. After losing over half their team, Alfie Smith (captain), Kasra Ehteshami, and Freddie Edgecliffe-Johnson fenced over four hours to win against Loughborough 1s. The team finished equal on points 126-126, but because Nottingham won two weapons out of three, we snatched the win.
The afternoon began with Foil, a speciality for the boys. The match had an unsteady start but picked up after Captain Smith performed impeccably to regain the lead by four hits. The boys kept this lead throughout the match to win foil 45-41. They were helped by the solid coaching from President, Ed Scott-Payne, and Mens 2s captain, Jack Elsworth.
The gripping fight kept us supporters on the edge of our seats
Next up: Sabre. It was a close fight throughout Sabre. Kasra Ehteshami, who has been working hard on his Sabre in training, outperformed the whole Loughborough team. However, Loughborough kept the gap close, creeping ahead at moments. The gripping fight kept us supporters on the edge of our seats. Together, our Nottingham boys beat Loughborough 45-40.
With a 9-point lead, Epee (the weakest weapon for the boys) loomed over the team.
The game plan going in was to waste as much time as possible; to defend rather than attack and pick up on every mistake Loughborough made. Kasra Ehteshami showed pure resilience to finish with a positive indicator in a weapon that was unfamiliar to him. Ehteshami left no crumbs on the piste. Every fight was flawless. Every hit was on target, and clean. We watched from the sidelines in awe of a fencer performing outstandingly.
Our epee anchor, Freddie, stepped up to the piste: the score 32-39 to Loughborough. We either needed 36 points to win, or to finish within 9 hits of our opponents. To note, a team match goes up to 45 points, so there was no time or hits to lose.
Edgecliffe-Johnson plugged in, nerves controlled, a great support team behind him cheering him on. Silence for our GOAT. The first two hits passed, and Loughborough were up to 41. Edgecliffe-Johnson changed up his tactics and applied pressure on the Loughborough anchor. Boom, a double hit, the score now 33-43. “And again!” yelled from the sidelines. Legs shaking, hands clenched, the next hit came, a single hit to us: 34-43. Nerves soaring around the room, times running out, and another double hit: 35-44. It all came down to the last hit. This had to be ours. We’d come this far; it was Nottingham’s for the taking. Silence for the final hit.
Nottingham 3s had performed the unthinkable: with only 3 members, none of whom were epeeists, had overcome the hardships together and beat Loughborough 1s
14 seconds left on the clock, Edgecliffe-Johnson applied further pressure, fainting towards Loughborough who retaliated with a large attack. Freddie disengaged and hit. A double hit. The winning hit! Roars echoed around the piste. Nottingham 3s had performed the unthinkable: with only 3 members, none of whom were epeeists, had overcome the hardships together and beat Loughborough 1s.
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