FENCING: Ealing's Saxon Fencing Club took second and fourth places in the Royal Holloway Novice Foil last weekend - an event for fencers with less than two years of experience in the sport.

The club entered two mixed teams of three in a field of 10.

The Saxon Fyrd trio - named after a Saxon warrior class - of Sharron Thomas, Christian Chilton and Christopher Cockburn dominated both of their early games, beating King's College 45-26 and Royal Holloway second team 45-19.

Chilton was especially dominant early on, winning several of his bouts without reply.

The teenaged Cockburn showed great poise and technique - putting together neat combination attacks - and Thomas discovered a previously unseen aggression which, allied to excellent footwork, made her very effective.

That earned them a semi-final place against King's College first team and a thrillingly close contest.

The Fyrd were slightly behind from the start, but pulled back to 41-41, in the first-to-45 match. King's then kept their heads and picked off the last four points, denying the Fyrd their place in the final.

Tired after a long day's fencing, they suffered badly at the hands of Kingston in the 3rd/4th play-off, but still finished an excellent fourth.

The Saxon Huscarles had a far tougher qualification task. The team of South African Elztette Roelofse, Ealing rugby stalwart Vittorio Spadevecchia and promising youngster Edward Bentley were trailing King's 38-40 in their first match until Spadevecchia turned it around.

After a second qualifier where they confidently outclassed Holloway first team 45-19, they then overcame a tough young team from Kingston in the semi before a rematch with the King's first team in the final. This time the Huscarles were beaten 45-34.