UCC Fencing Cutting it Fine
By Alana Daly Mulligan
It has been an exciting few weeks as UCC’s Fencing Club continue to battle it out for top ranked spots.
The first success of the new year was across the border in the Northern Irish Open. (2nd & 3rd February) Rita Diczházi claimed a silver medal in Women’s Foil. The competition was tight with some serious heavyweight contenders taking to the piste.
The competition continued to climb as did UCC’s successes when the team ventured to The East of Ireland Open in Dublin (9th & 10th February). We saw three UCC women dominating women’s sabre with Diczházi winning bronze, Lillias Healy earning silver and the gold being snatched by Ireland’s number 2 female sabeur Aoife O’Loughlin. Healy also used the open to up her ranking to third place nationally, defeating Trinity fencer Imogen Heap. With this in place, Cork now acts as home to two of the top three female sabeurs in Ireland-an impressive feat that surely contends with the Dublin-centric nature of the sport.
Men’s sabre also gained more metal for the cabinet with Kevin McSweeney taking back a bronze for UCC.
Maynooth Novice (15th & 16th February) was an exciting competition for fencers with under two years’ experience. On the 15th women’s foil saw Ciara Parry win a well-earned gold medal for her hard efforts while men’s foil had Chris Gomez take home a bronze medal.
The 16th saw stakes and competition levels rise with the fiery Emma Galloway take the top spot with gold and Alana Daly Mulligan earning bronze in women’s sabre. Kevin O’Donovan was rewarded for his efforts in men’s sabre with a silver medal.
Trinity Team Foil (24th February) also had a success story with UCC Graduate and Coach Rory Hayes partaking in the mixed team “Team Kirsten and Fearghal Apparently Had Better Things To Do” and winning gold.
An entirely UCC team came third with Fionán Davitt, Graham Shaw and Rita Diczházi giving their all at the competition.
Galway Novice Cup (2nd & 3rd March) was also a success story for the club. Ciara Parry brought home a silver crown, winning second place in all weapons (sabre, épée and foil) with Julia Taubert taking the women’s sabre bronze at the event. Tara Sweetman and Sinéad Bartley came joined third in women’s foil and Matthew Robinson claimed third place in men’s sabre.
Without a doubt, UCC Fencing are cutting it up on the pistes around the nation, putting them in an excellent position for both Intervarsities at the end of the month and Student Individuals. While the club has been successfully metal collecting since September, it should be recognised the ginormous effort being contributed by other club members who have competed at over 16 competitions nationally, a massive feat to have UCC representation at nearly every competition since the beginning of the year. The club continues to push its new outreach programme, featuring in the launch of the new UCC Sports Strategy opening events and working with secondary schools on getting more young people engaged in the sport. No doubt UCC Fencing are a cut above the rest.