Winter Challenge

Date: 3 December 2017
Score: OCFC 242 - Charterhouse 221

Thanks to the commitment and determination of our gallant Old Carthusians, the Winter Challenge was won by the OCFC’s, winning four of the six events. 

OC of the match was James Russell, a new recruit for the OCFC having only left the School in 2017, for his exceptional performance in Foil A, and without whom victory would have been much less likely. Credit must also be given to Tom McMahon who closed out the match in the final bout of sabre, managing to turn what looked likely to be a draw into an OC victory.  

While this is doubtless a glorious victory, it is not without a tinge of sadness as our long-serving president; Anthony Silver announced that, with regret, he was stepping down. 

Anthony Silver's Farewell Address


Epee A
Score: OCFC 45 - Charterhouse 14

This was the strongest Epee Team the OCFC has ever fielded. It consisted of Tom McMahon (C), Pavel Degtiarev and James Russell (his first outing for the OCFC having left Charterhouse this year) facing Zayd Adebi, Jamie Stapleton and Tina Nasser (C). Every bout was easily won, except for Zayd’s score of 4 points against Pavel, leaving the School, which put up good humoured and brave resistance, stunned. It was also truly beautiful fencing to watch from all three OC fencers. The up and coming School talent will begin to blunt the edge of this advantage over time. 

Epee B
Score: OCFC 44 - Charterhouse 45

A hard-fought match indeed, the OCs were: Toby Hindson (c), Charlotte Russell and Anthony Silver. Anthony, seconded to the team from sabre, and who gamely fenced all weapons in this match, opened against James McAllister and scored a creditable 2 hits to start us off. Charlotte then faced Jordan Michael and levelled the score to 10 - 10. Toby pulled us ahead with a good win against Gabriela Ribiro-Fagundes, but Jordan then proved too much for Anthony and the School had the lead again at 20 - 16. Toby and Anthony lost further ground, and the situation looked dire, but Charlotte’s cool head and fine control pulled us back into contention with a fine 9 - 1 win. Two more contentious bouts from Toby and Anthony left Charlotte needing a narrow win against James to secure the match, but she was pipped at the last moment by an unexpected double hit. Thus is fencing.

By Toby Hindson


Foil A
Score: OCFC 45 - Charterhouse 43

Despite being the Foil A match, the OC team this year consisted of three epeeists: Tom McMahon (left in 2009), Pavel Degtiarev (left in 2013) and James Russell (left in 2017). However, the Charterhouse team (Zayd Adebi, Daniel Lee and Ollie Skeen) was made up of the School’s top foilists, two of whom had been fencing in the top foil team for over a year. 

The first fight saw Tom pressed right from the start by Zayd, allowing the current pupils to take a small lead early on. Although the second fight would see James turn the fight around with a victory against Ollie, Daniel’s quick footwork and neat technique meant that by the third match the School lead 15 - 13. James, Tom and Pavel’s good use of their height advantage over the smaller School fencers meant that in the next three matches the score would swing back in favour of the OCs with a lead of 2 points heading into the last three fights. Despite the efforts of both Pavel and Tom, Ollie and Daniel would both come into their element in these fights, throwing a barrage of attacks at the OCs meaning that the School would once again gain a comfortable five-point lead with the final match between James and Zayd. A tense fight ensued but the OCs would eventually come out the victors with a 10 - 3 victory for James over Zayd and a final score of 45 - 43 to the OCs. This was a great demonstration of how versatile the OC fencers are, especially against an opposition who have been particularly strong and successful over the last few years. 

By James Russell

Foil B
Score: OCFC 18 - Charterhouse 45

The first match of the day started with our diverse team, made up of Lesley Elphink, a foilist, Charlotte Russell, an epeeist and Anthony Silver, a sabreur, facing off against three of the School’s younger fencers. The match started with a couple of close-fought bouts, with Anthony facing James McAllister and Lesley facing Alex Tsang. Unfortunately, both fights ended in a narrow defeat for the OCs, meaning the School team were able to take an early lead. 

The OCs continued to strive for victory and Lesley’s precision, Anthony’s sabre-honed quick attacks and Charlotte’s frustratingly passive fencing style helped us claw back some points in each fight, but sadly, it was not quite enough. The last few bouts were tense, with Lesley driving James to distraction in the final fight by repeatedly pushing him to the back of the piste and forcing him to attack, but in the end, it was a well-deserved 45 - 18 win for the School team. However, we all learned a lot from this match, and will come back fighting and hungry for victory next year!

By Charlotte Russell


Sabre A
Score: OCFC 45 - Charterhouse 31

The School fielded a squad of seven sabreurs. The OCFC’s Sabre A were up against some skilled and competitive fencers who made up with enthusiasm and verve what they may have lacked in experience in the sword. Unfortunately, they were up against two experienced sabreurs and one possible excellent fencer who was ‘having a go’ at sabre but brought a level of technique and skill that was tough to counter. Nevertheless, although the outcome was never really going to be in doubt, the School managed to take 31 points off the OCFC Sabre A and that is greatly to their credit.

By Anthony Silver

Sabre B  
Score: OCFC 45 - Charterhouse 43

The OCFC Sabre B team was made up of just two fencers, Tom McMahon and Charlotte Russell, neither of whom are seasoned sabreurs, in contrast to Sabre A above, and both of whom had already fenced Foil and Epee. Initially it looked as though it would be fairly even; however, it gradually began to slip away. Before the final bout, it looked like the Boys’ team, comprising James McAllister, Sanva Shilin and Oli Skeen, were going to get the better of the struggling OC’s who were 5 points down. Tom, however, not to be daunted, entered the fray and defeated their last fencer 10 - 3 to bring victory to the OCs 

By Tom McMahon


Video Collection