The February Mixed Foil League

The fifth Mixed Foil league of February had the closest finish of any in the memory of any of the contestants.

Five fencers finished with three victories each & it was left to the counting of hits to sort out the winners & losers. This was partly caused when Meyrick Simmonds was unable to attend this months competition, leaving a glimmer of hope to the remaining fencers. Mathematically however only Kees Zandvliet has a possibility of beating Simmonds who was dominant in the first three competitions of the seven in the seasons fixtures. Kees has to win the remaining two to win otherwise Simmonds is the winner.

The current scores are Meyrick Simmonds 492 with Kees Zandvliet on 486 & Michael Wright third on 483. Still leader of the women's is Naveen Rahman on 474 who can be overtaken only by Clair Le Poidevin currently on 463, with Julie Dyer in third place on 438.

The top league had Martin Corbet, Andre Barnes, Michael Wright, Kees Zandvliet & Keith Corbet all on three victories with Ross Martel in his first attempt at the top division finding the pace a little too fast, though he gave a good account of himself scoring nine hits during his five defeats. Martin Corbet won by almost the narrowest margin of one hit, beating Andre Barnes into second place (Andre's highest placing so far!) Michael Wright was three hits worse. Michael has been fighting consistently well this season & is in with a chance of a minor medal. Fourth was Kees Zandvliet a further two hits down & unlucky Keith Corbet is relegated a further two hits poorer, along with Ross Martel.

Division two was topped by Jonathan Brehaut who won all his fights. Clair Le Poidevin was second losing only to Jonathan and will savour Division One fencing next month. Adam Bonner & Pippa Hudson with three wins each retain their place along with Julie Dyer. Carol Wood & Wendy Batiste were relegated.

Rob Rarnish dominated Division Three & had the impressive score line of 24-4. He seems destined to reach division one in due course. Jerry Woodward on five wins will accompany him in the second division next month. Retaining their places were Daniel Nield, Robert Muir & Sue Martel. Relegated were Dorothy Nash & Heidi Sheppard.

Rupert Seward fenced tidily to take top place in Division Four winning all his fights. The next four fencers all had three victories & Gail Childs won promotion after the hits were counted. Mita Rahman, Richard Pratt & Chris Mahy retain their position with Adam Critell & Linda Jones dropping to Division five next month.

The last Division was an anomaly. Two highly experienced fencers were coming back into the fray after lengthy absences. As expected Alan Bushby a former winner of this competition won all his fights to take the top spot with Geoffrey Sloan taking second place. Third was Marcel de Garis on four wins. Hollie Redhead a third generation fencer entering this competition for the first time came a creditable fourth. Chris Collier, Cathy Belcher & Debbie Parrott finished in that order.

Next month the worst scores will drop out of the reckoning and major changes will occur to the placing of the competitors. The results are based on the best five scores made in the seven competitions of the season starting with October & finishing in April.

The March Mixed Foil League & seasonal placings.

The sixth Mixed Foil league of March saw Meyrick Simmonds stamp his authority on the League with an emphatic win by 25-7 hits winning all his fights. Taking into account all the seasons results he is now in an unassailable position and is this years League winner with still another competition to go on a near perfect score of 499. Second placed Michael Wright is in his highest position so far on 488, a tantalising one point ahead of third placed Kees Zandvliet on 487.

Because the results of the league are based on the best five scores of the seven fenced the minor places are in the melting pot. If Martin Corbet (fourth now on 482) has a good performance next month he could well come second with his worst two scores being eliminated. He has had a dramatically better latter half of the season.

Clair Le Poidevin on 471 is the top woman, with Julie Dyer second on 447. Third placed is Pippa Hudson on 429. It is virtually certain mathematically that this will be the final order after the last competition next month.

This month in league one Meynck Simmonds demolished the opposition. He was a bit fortunate in that two absences caused his elevation to the first division, or he would have had to fight in the second division. In a close run race for second place three fencers all tied on wins. Hits secured second place for Martin Corbet (+8) against third placed Michael Wright (+2) and fourth placed Kees Zandvliet (+1). Andre Barnes, second last month was relegated in 5th place & Clair le Poidevin was 6th

Julie Dyer got back to form after a couple of months in the doldrums with a good win, beating Rob Harnish both on the same number of wins but Julie well ahead by a margin of 6 hits. They will both compete in the top division next month. Daniel Nield and Robert Muir retained their position, whilst Sue Martel and Wendy Batiste were relegated.

Rupert Seward continues to put in good performances & won the fourth division comfortably. Second placed Owen Morgan was also promoted, narrowly beating Richard Pratt who stays in the division along with Mita Rahman. Relegated were Heidi Sheppard and Gail Childs.

The fifth division was predictably won by Alan Bushby a former champion hacking his way up the leagues, and accompanying him is Geoffrey Sloan. Marcel de Garis & John Breslin retain their positions with Adam Critell & Linda Jones relegated.

A second consecutive anomalous bottom division happened with Gordon Bailey & Martin Naylor entering after absences. A rusty Gordon Bailey was still too good to come other than first with Martyn Naylor making much heavier weather of his second place. (He had two 5-4 wins in his 4 victories. ) Hollie Redhead was third, with Gareth McCathie, Chris Collier & Cathy Belcher finishing in that order.

This was a highly successful penultimate league with 36 fencers vying for position. Some fencers working their way up the leagues will strengthen the top league when they eventually land there.

Next month is the last competition of this season, which will have an important bearing upon the 'grid' positions at the start of next season!