A trio of talented RTWFC fencers made the trip to Hatfield for the England Youth Championships (EYC) on Saturday 11th June, and Lloyd Osborne headed south with some hard-won hardware.
First up was the indefatiguable Izzy D’Abbraccio, who competed in Poland on Thursday, in the under-13 girls’ epee. Izzy won all six of her poule bouts to get a bye through to the last 16, but then slipped on the banana skin that was Matilde Samuel-Lajeunesse in an agonising 10-9 loss. A finishing position of ninth in the national champs isn’t what izzy wanted, but it isn’t half bad.
Next up, team-mates Zach Bench and Lloyd Osbourne set to work in the boys’ under 15 epee, the former struggling at first against older, more experienced fencers before bouncing back, and the latter doing his back line ‘rope-a-dope’ routine to great effect.
Heading into the last 64, Zach was seeded 38th and took out 27th seed Leo Cook 15-13 before going down to 6th seed Robin Silk 15-7. Zach finished a creditable 31st out of 56 in his first competition at this level.
Lloyd sat in 9th after the poules, and twice squandered comfortable leads against bottom-ranked but fantastically named Osbert Weston before finally fighting his way back from the precipice to turn 12-14 into 15-14. Phew! Lloyd then took out Cowper 15-6, Hinkley 15-7 and Chiappini 15-12 to book a semi-final slot against Tristan Lumineau. Whilst rangy southpaw Lumineau, who already has bags of international experience, ran away with a 15-5 win, Lloyd learnt plenty and can now rest his aching legs and reflect on another fabulous day of fencing.
Well done, team – you make us proud every time you step on the piste.