Three Dronfield youngsters claimed plenty of plaudits and a silver medal to boot, after competing at the British School Team Fencing Championships.
Matt Cooper, Sam Filliul and David Clewett represented Dronfield Henry Fanshawe School in the boys’ under-18s event at the championships.
A total of 16 schools entered the competition, which was held at Brunel University, Uxbridge.
This was the first time DHFS had entered a team, as the small after-school fencing club has only been running for a few years.
The DHFS team started off the day with three convincing wins in their pool.
This meant they were seeded number two in the competition and had a bye through to the quarter-finals.
The last-eight bout was against Eton, one of England’s best-known public schools.
Dronfield boys were full of confidence after their success in the group stages and they soon built up a gap in points.
They led the Etonians 15-3 after the first nine minutes of the match.
DHFS eventually crushed the Etonians, running them out by a winning margin of 45-26.
Going into the semi-final, the trio knew that they had already secured a bronze medal and with that in mind Matt, Sam and David soon brushed aside their next opponents, Kings School Canterbury, winning 45-36.
In the final, DHFS faced Millfield School who are a formidable team which included two cadet internationals.
The Dronfield team knew it was going to be tough, and despite putting up a never-say die display, they suffered defeat.
Coach Tony Klenczar says he was delighted with the performance of the three youngsters.
He said: “These boys started fencing within the last three years at the after-school club at DHFS, and they also fence at two other excellent fencing clubs, Wingerworth and the Derbyshire Epee Academy.
“This was the first time we had been able to put a team into the championship and the boys put up a fantastic performance throughout the day, earning a well deserved silver medal.”
He added, “If anyone would like to try fencing and become successful like these people have, check out our websites www.derbyshireepeeacademy.co.uk and/or www.wingerworthfencingclub.co.uk for details on how to get started - we always want new people to take up fencing.”