5 Nations 2011 - Scotland Team Manager Report
Sitting in Edinburgh airport waiting to board a plane to Cardiff on the Friday evening and receiving news of yet another fencer withdrawing from the team due to illness, I began to wonder whether we were heading for the wooden spoon this year!
However, despite having no women's foil team and therefore starting the majority of our country matches 45 v 0 down, a great team effort from Scotland resulted in victories in every match against Northern Ireland, Ireland and Wales to set us up nicely for the final matches against England.
Against strong England teams in Men's Epee, Women's Epee and Men's Sabre Scotland teams, ranked well below their English opponents on paper, fenced well but lost 40v 45, 25 v 45 and 31 v 45 respectively.
Fantastic performances (and cool heads!!) from Alice Watson, Louise Creechan and Vicky Carson saw a 45 v 40 win to the Scots over England resulting in the overall weapon victory in the Women's Sabre.
In a dramatic men's foil match against England, Keith Cook lead solid performances from Graeme Hart and Richard Anderson. Going into the last fight trailing by 2 hits (38 v 40) Keith produced what we all thought was a victory at 45 v 42, only to find out that Keith had left the piste on the last hit. Keith quickly regained his composure and closed the fight out 45 v 43 to take another overall weapon title.
Congratulations to the Women's Sabre and Men's Foil team's.
Well done and thank you to all of the following fencers, including 9 new caps (in blue) for the usual strong Scottish team spirit and a great unexpected overall performance:
- Men's Foil - Keith Cook, Graeme Hart, Richard Anderson, Don McKenzie (super sub)
- Men's Epee - Neill Tannock, Jamie Firth, Adam Gordon, Don McKenzie (yes again!)
- Women's Epee - Mhairi Spence, Georgina Barrington, Louise Helyer
- Men's Sabre - Mike Clarke, Rob Veitch, Stephen Rocks, Julian Ghosh
- Women's Sabre - Alice Watson, Victoria Carson, Louise Creechan
A huge thank you to all of the Scotland team staff - the coaches Don McKenzie, Andy Alderman and Phil Carson and the referees Mike Thornton, Murray Morrison and Ludovic Sotto.
Full results can be found on the Welsh Fencing website here:
Already looking forward to an even stronger, fit and healthy Scotland team for Dublin next year!
Senior Team Manager
PS. How many Men's Foilists does it take to look after a trophy for more than 10 minutes?
Answer: Apparently more than three