Sunday saw EPIC their biggest team to date down to the BBBA interclub competition in St Austell.
35 competitors, 3 coaches and an army of supporters (parents) travelled the 320-mile round trip to Cornwall for what could be the final competition of the year for some.
Coaches Andy Cleeves, Andy Gill and Matt Roberts were all pleased with the progress that was shown on the mats and the immediate imposition of what was covered at the previous day’s squad training.
Overall medal haul:
Overall competitors: 35
Overall medals: 65
Average medal per person: 1.85
With the ‘gladiators’ category kicking things off it was destined to be a great day with Harvey Pollard opening epic’s account of the day with a strong victory over his opponent. 6-year old Harvey went on to claim a gold and a bronze on the day and narrowly lost out on another bronze by one point. His progression is one of the reasons that he is a member of the ‘rising stars’ group.
Kailem Mulligan claimed another medal for team Wales, this time a bronze in a tough category. He fought well on the day and landed a perfectly timed spinning hook kick on his way to the bronze medal. Mulligan, 8, is showing his ever increasing understanding of the game.
Lainey Thorpe overcame nerves, reservations and stepped into the unknown as she competed in light continuous for the first time, after encouragement from coaches Andy Cleeves and Matt Roberts, Lainey went on to win silver which added to her two bronze and one well-earned gold in points fighting, it was a successful day.
Rowan Redgers came away with a silver medal in his points fighting category to complete a good day for the Redgers family. The younger brother was unlucky not to come away with more and in particular excelled in the gladiators category. An acrobatic display with the shield and baton mixed with a hard-hitting attacking style bode well as he claimed silverware.
Jess Andrews had a great day on the mats bringing an array of kicking prowess and fast blitz movements to claim a gold and three silvers! Her performances were very easy on the eye. She trained hard Friday night, Saturday at squad training and then competed well all day Sunday.
Finlay Cozens was unlucky to not come away with a gold as he showed a warrior’s spirit and often overwhelmed his opponents with his fast and aggressive style of fighting. He had some very entertaining battles in continuous which he ultimately took a silver medal. This medal, added to his two points-fighting bronze medals from earlier in the day, left him with a big smile on his face.
Sean McDonald was unlucky in both draws and a few decisions as he narrowly missed out on medals in every division by 1 fight. He fought WAKO GB members, experienced fighters and some of his fellow ‘rising stars’ team members. Another bout of experience for the young hard working martial artist.
Jack Pollard continued developing his defensive counter fighting style winning a gold and bronze. He came through two separate bouts winning 1-0 (counter reverse punch) and 3-0 (counter head kick) which were tense bouts.
Ollie Lawler fought hard and was close in every fight so was unfortunate not to come away with a medal from his displays. He did however come away with valuable experience and took defeat like a true sportsman, a trait that we insist on from our fighters.
Oliver Hiscutt narrowly missed out on being the 8 years and under superstars champion but fought gallantly I’m taking silver. He also took a bronze in the -135cm advanced boys points fighting. A fantastic days work by the young Spartan. Oliver’s progression in the sport at such a young age landed him a place on our ‘rising stars’ programme.
Brooklyn James performed very well on the day claiming 2 gold medals and a silver as he dismantled his first division and winning the final 7-1. His second category was tougher but he stepped up his game and claimed his second gold. He reached his third final but narrowly lost out in that one to claim three medals from 3 divisions.
Harrison Doyle took home 5 medals on a day of frustration at first at 3 semi-final defeats before going on for a silver and then ending the day on a high by winning the final EPIC fight of the day to claim a gold in Light Continuous.
Mike Andrews stepped up to fight a seasoned fighter in one division taking a silver and backing that up showing a new-found aggressive style as he took the fight to his younger opponent in his second category. Claiming a second silver in that one with a narrow 2-point defeat shows how far he has come in a short space of time.
Rhiannon Bater claimed a bronze in her category using her quick footwork and kicking techniques to set up opportunities to score on her
opponents and it worked well as she fought well against tough experienced fighters including her best friend Jess, which is always a great spectacle.
Finley Haynes took 3 bronze medals on the day which adds to lots of his medals from earlier in the year. He showed finesse and in particular his points fighting on the day deserved more. Fin won 2 of his bronze medals in continuous fighting,
Regan Wilson took a silver medal and a well earned one at that. Demonstrating his attacking prowess early on, he set about overwhelming his opponents in the earlier rounds before showing he is beginning to develop an understanding for setting up entries while fighting.
Ellie Doyle did what she did best and claimed yet more silverware for the Doyle household. Some say the walls in their house are built from trophies, this could well be true and they are on the way to building an extension at this rate with Ellie’s 4 golds and a bronze.
Little Ewan Thain poured his heart and soul into his performances coming through some tough fights in his earlier categories. A natural in the gladiator division, wielding a padded shield and foam baton, he terrorised his opponents with his direct style which was great fun for all to watch. He ultimately took a bronze medal on the day which was pleasing to see.
Dean Andrews took home 2 bronze to complete a 8-medal haul for team Andrews on the day. His points fighting was improved from the previous EPiC open and he claimed his first medal in that. He backed this up with a bronze in light continuous, losing out to seasoned fighter Alex Fellender-Evans in the semi-finals.
Peter Lonsdale stepped onto the mats for his first ever ‘away’ competition. His first fight was close as he found himself 1-point down the whole way until the final third when he shocked us all with a beautiful head kick
which turned the tie in his favour and he never looked back. Although he didn’t get into the medal fights, the progress made over the last 2 months is great.
Cordie Light fought valiantly on Sunday to earn a silver medal in a tough category. The youngest member of the Light family was in full flow as she battled through to the final and was only defeated by a seasoned competitor in the final. All the coaches expressed positive opinions about her performances.
Hayden Beard was very unlucky to not come away with a bronze with a narrow 3-4 defeat in his first category. It was a much better rounded performance than at the previous EPiC open and he was evenly matched with his opponent all the way through. Team Wales are building each time they step on the mats and Hayden’s performances on the day show that he is ready for a big push in 2017.
Katie Williams continued her 2016 season silverware quest by taking 4 more on Sunday. BBBA ended up handing her a silver and three bronze medals for her efforts on the mats. She has racked up an impressive medal collection throughout the year and impressed at the squad training the day before aswell.
Teia Doyle, one of four of our younger members who started our ‘rising stars’ programme, smashed her categories on Saturday taking 2 golds and 2 silvers.
Her performances with the shield and baton were brilliant and her 3 fights against BBBA’s Kiya were one of the highlights of the day. Teia’s 4 medals means that clan Doyle took home 13 medals on the day.
Harvey Tyler continued a memorable year with another 5-medal day out. On a day where a lot of epic fighters shone, Harvey’s ability to show controlled techniques when fighting smaller, less experienced fighters but still demonstrating his skill set at the same time is a real credit to the youngster. He also stepped it up when he needed to as he went on to win 4 golds and a silver, he was also on course for more but had to pull out of one category while he was with the medic to stop a nosebleed.
Isaac light stepped up his performances for a good weekends work after squad training to come away with a hard fought bronze from the inter-club comp. An impressive rise in sparring ability over the last 6 months and Sunday he appeared to show he can both attack and defend when needed.
Tilly Light continued her points fighting development and took an away day gold on a wet Sunday in Cornwall. Light, who shows great potential for 2017s season, excelled in her category and at times showed flashes of brilliance with techniques and set ups. She kept composed when she was, rarely, put under pressure to complete a medal-each haul for the Light family. Father Julian looked pleased with the day’s trinkets.
Tyrese Redgers took a very impressive gold in continuous fighting which was a big moment for a young lad who is desperate to go far in the sport. Tyrese also took a silver in points fighting which adds to other medals he has won this year. Tyrese listened well to his coaches advice while he fighting on the day which helped him massively.
Alex Fellender-Evans took 4 silvers to add to a successful season in 2016. He was very unlucky not to take a gold, but he made the earlier rounds look easy at times which says a lot about the hard-work this young man has put in to this year. Both his points and continuous fighting looks sharp, mixed with quick footwork and crisp combinations when needed.
Frankie stone stepped up fantastically on the day to claim her first gold away day trophy. Always smiling win or lose, always taking her coaches instructions on board and always striving to do her best. Everyone was proud of Frankie’s achievements this weekend. She took a silver to aswell wrap up the perfect weekend.
Aaron Mountford stepped up recently into then squad which was good to see, with no expectations and against more experienced fighters Aaron, underdog at times, defeated all in his path to take a gold! Showing an understanding of points fighting is one thing but executing it effectively is another and his were some of the most pleasing performances on the day.
Overall the day was massively successful and the coaches were very proud of all of them. With the CIMAC and Total Valour 3 left to see out 2016 the club can start to reflect on a good year. There has been a lot of positives to work with and this will be reflected in the end of year speeches.
Remember- always be EPiC!