KING Edward VI School (Stratford) students made history when, for the first time, they won all three of the age group titles at the British School Team Championships, which this year were held at Brunel University in Uxbridge.
The U18 boys’ sabre team comfortably won all of their matches in their round-robin tournament to win the school’s first gold of the day. The team, including European number 24 Caspian Watt, 17, Benjy Wilson, 16, Thomas Jackson, 16, and Zachary Hamilton, 15, comfortably beat 2014 champions Millfield School 45-32 in the deciding match.
KES teams once again dominated the U15 boys’ sabre event, claiming both gold and silver for the third year in a row. The A team, made up of Joe Pocknell, 15, William Jolley, Thomas Woodland and Barnaby Halliwell, all 14, won their group matches with ease to progress to the semi-finals as first seeds.
The B team, comprising Archie Watt, 13, Richard Wood, 14, and Harry Parr, 14, also won its group matches to join the A team in the semi-finals as second seeds.
Joe Pocknell led the A team to the final with an untroubled 45-28 win over Whitgift School, while the B team joined them with a similarly strong win over Ardingly School.
The A team were too strong though and emerged as British champions with a 45-24 win.
In the U13 boys’ sabre competition the A team consisting of Felix Crabtree, Oliver Edwardes, Anuj Mathur, all 13, and Louis Bedford, 11, beat Billericay School 45-14 and Brentwood School 45-13 to progress to the knockouts as top seeds.
The B team, made up of Joe Richardson, Oliver Dickson and George Mynors, all 12, and Thomas Hartigan, 11, also won all of its group matches to progress as second seeds.
The A team fenced well against Moulsford to book its place in the final but unfortunately the B team was beaten by Sussex House in a very close match and had to settle for a bronze medal.
In the final, Louis led from the front, conceding just four points in his fights as his team became British champions with a 45-30 victory.
For the first time ever, King Edward VI School entered a team into the U18 girls’ competition. Chloe Halliwell, 16, led her team, also including Sabrina Evans, 18, and Kate Matthews, 16, to victory in matches against Brentwood and Millfield B.
Unfortunately, they were beaten 45-35 by a strong Millfield A team so had to settle for silver.
Head coach Daniel Redshaw said: “This is a fantastic achievement for the fencers at KES.
“They are the first school ever to win all of the boys’ sabre titles in the same year. It is beyond all doubt that King Edward VI School is the very best sabre fencing school in the country.”
The U15s are pictured, back row, left to right – Harry Parr, Richard Wood, Archie Watt (U15 boys’ B team silver medallists); front – Thomas Woodland, William Jolley, Barnaby Halliwell, Joe Pocknell (U15 boys’ A team gold medallists). (s)
The U18s are pictured, left to right – Zachary Hamilton, Kate Matthews, Thomas Jackson, Chloe Halliwell, Caspian Watt, Sabrina Evans, Benjy Wilson (U18 boys’ team gold medallists and U18 girls’ team silver medallists. (s)