Match Report - Southampton fencing too strong for an injury-plagued Cardiff men's team

Final score 135 - 117

Cardiff men's 1st fencing met the top of the league in Southampton for their second match away in a row. While Cardiff has had a rough start to the season, losing away to Bath in their opening match, Southampton has impressed and surprised everyone. In their first two matches, they have beaten Swansea and UWE with a staggering 135 to 65 and 50 respectively.

Squad:

George Hawksworth (C)
Edward Sibert
Josh Green
Jack Houlston

Cardiff had a very difficult starting point, as four team regulars were unavailable for the match. The 4-man team, which is only one more than the bare minimum for a match, saw Captain George Hawksworth and President Edward Sibert fence all three weapons. That meant three full hours of fencing for the two veterans. Their skills and experience gave Southampton solid opposition throughout the match. The duo were joined by Josh Green, who made his debut in the previous match. Once again, Green showed that he was well suited for the team with another solid performance in sabre, and there is no doubt that he will be important for the team this year and in seasons to come. The match also gave Jack Houlston the chance to debut for the first team. Although new to the club this year, Jack impressed greatly during the try-outs and showed this week that he is a versatile and solid fencer.

The match started with a 45-36 loss in epee, which is very impressive considering how well Southampton have been doing in this weapon. The Cardiff side did even better in foil and only lost the weapon by a single point at 45-44. Southampton secured their win in sabre at 45-37 and a very tired Cardiff had to admit defeat. As Green and Houlston impressed greatly in this match, it will be interesting to see how their strong performances will influence outtakes in the future. With fierce competition over several places on the team, these two have certainly proved their worth this week.

The final result was disappointing for Cardiff, but even with a very small team it was a great improvement over the Bath match. Southampton's third win puts them alone on top with 9 points, though results from several other matches have yet been reported. Cardiff remains in 6th place with 0 points. Their next match will be home against Aberystwith on the 13th of November, a game they will have to win to stay safe in Western League 1A.