On Sunday 21st May Team EPIC took a team of 15 competitors to Northampton to compete at Benham Sports Arena. The team performed well on the day and won an array of medals including multiple bronze, silver and gold winners. The tournament is one of the more coveted on the national circuit which makes it appealing for competitors to attend, hosted by the Fighting Fit Academy.
The Northants Open also has open weight categories for juniors and adults which four of our competitors entered (one in each). Katie Williams competed in the cadets female open weight and was unlucky in her semi-final fight as she performed well but just couldn’t quite overcome her opponent, earning a 3rd place! Connor Mitchell, making his EPIC tournament debut, impressed in his fights but had a tough opponent in the second round who narrowly took the victory from the 17-year old Bristolian. Senior coach Matt Roberts opened his grand champion category with a resounding 4-1 win over CMA opponent Connor Preece before narrowly defeating the experienced Ryan Ellis on sudden death (final score 9-8) in the quarter final. He faced multiple champion Reuben Charlesworth in the semi finals and was 5-4 down with seconds to go and committed to a blitz and was unlucky to have a counter kick scored against him but went down 6-4 in a close encounter to finish 3rd. Molly Hershaw dismantled her opponents on the way to the final of the Female senior open weight final against the vastly experienced Imogen Proctor. The fight was on tender-hooks as both girls traded wonderful techniques scoring freely and Hershaw slipped a beautiful leg counter in to bring the scores close together. The second round of the final was a close affair with further exchanges of scores and a couple of scores missed in the EPIC fighter’s favour. There was only seconds left when Proctor finally pulled enough points ahead to make the win safe but Molly, who is suffering from a knee injury, did her club proud with 2nd place.
In the points categories both Rhiannon Bater and Jess Andrews opened up the day with the brown and black belt categories. Jess was slow to start her opening fight and got back into the fight too late as she tried clawing the score back but fell short of the mark. Rhiannon started quickly in her opening fight and took her opponent apart. She went on to the final and came second to a good fighter. Oliver Hiscutt recorded both a 10 point victory and an 11 point victory margin in his category as he took home a gold! Harry Cooke, also making his debut, was unlucky to draw an opponent who was a bit stronger but fought well as the referees had to warn his opponent for excessive contact. Tyrese Redgers, who competed in the same category, improved from round to round to reach the final against the opponent who beat Harry Cooke. Tyrese recorded a 7-2 victory and took gold. Rowan Redgers took a bronze in his 7-8 category for points, fighting extremely well as he eased passed his opening opponents and lost narrowly to his semi-finalist opponent. Harvey Tyler took two golds from three points categories as he produced some beautiful performances. A strong spectacle of kicks, fast blitzes and counter techniques that stopped some of his opponents. Katie Williams earned a silver in the advanced points and a gold in the intermediate points to complete a good days fighting for the ever-improving EPIC youngster. Mike Andrews took a silver in the novice points category before Molly Hershaw earned a silver in the female +65kg category and Matt Roberts earned 2 further bronze medals to complete the day. Also mentions for good performances from Ollie Lawler, Finlay Cozens and Connor Mitchell throughout the day but fell short of the podium finishes in their points categories.
In the Light Continuous Tyrese Redgers took his second gold in two categories as he completed a great day for the Redgers boys because Rowan took a gold in his 7-8 Light Continuous category too. Ollie Lawler was unlucky not to place 3rd as a contentious decision in his bronze place fight off cost him a podium finish despite a strong performance. Mike Andrews was also in a tough category and had his fight stopped for medical time which was unfortunate but his children Jess Andrews won a bronze and then son Dean won a silver in their categories. Finlay Cozens won a silver medal in his light continuous category before Harvey Tyler tied up another gold (totalling 3 on the day- our stand out medallist winner) in his category with a stylish performance in the final.
A massive well done to the fighters on the day, both Molly and Matt, who coached on the day, were proud of the team.
Thank you to our proud sponsor SAFETY HORIZON SOUTH WEST for all of the support!