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Aberdeen Battle Dundee in Fencing Cup

Updated: Jun 9

University Fencing Club Secures Victory Against Nearby Rivals


By: Oliver Kennedy


PHOTOGRAPH: JAMES MARTIN


Dundee University made the short journey to Aberdeen in December for what would be both teams first competitive matches of the season, competing to progress in the Men’s National Trophy. The match would take place at the Aberdeen Sports Village, on a freezing day in the granite city. 


Aberdeen University Fencing Club has been active for over one hundred years, with many of its previous and current members progressing to national and international levels. The club caters to a range of experience levels and provides all equipment necessary to members, including weaponry and apparel. Current members meet regularly and train in all disciplines.

"Fencing, in its current form, was first contested in 17th century Europe"

Fencing, in its current form, was first contested in 17th century Europe, and was later refined by Italian and French schools. The sport has been played in every modern summer Olympics, from 1896. Within fencing there are three disciplines: Foil, Épée and Sabre, each using different types of blades and with varied allowed contact points on the body. Foil uses a light thrusting weapon, and only a strike on the opponents’ torso is accepted. This is policed by an electronic vest, which activates a light when contact is made. Épée also uses a thrusting weapon, albeit heavier, and the entire body is valid for contact. Touches are registered by a small button on the tip of the weapon. 


Sabre, the newest of the fencing disciplines, differs from Foil and Épée as the entire blade is acceptable contact, allowing for hits through a slashing motion. Valid contact is above the waist. Fencing requires specific clothing, both for safety and comfort. The iconic mask prevents injury to the face and neck, and the white apparel was historically used to determine strike marks on the body.


The encounter involved each three fencing disciplines. Each discipline plays one match, which contains nine legs. Teams for each discipline contain three or four players, who rotate throughout the match, and the winners are the first to reach a score of 45. Aberdeen started strongly, scoring five points to Dundee’s two and taking the first leg. Dundee would take the next leg, and despite outscoring Dundee in two further legs, Aberdeen succumbed to a 30-45 loss in the Foil match. 


Aberdeen would bounce back in the Sabre match, with a 45- 29 win, and would take the overall victory with the Épée match finishing 45-27 to the home side, securing a 120-101 overall score, allowing the team to lift the coveted ‘sloths’ trophy. Aberdeen will look to further progress through the Men’s National Trophy, when they meet Strathclyde in January, and to compete for the league title when the delayed 2023/24 season gets underway.


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