FENCING: Suffolk Invitational Foil success provides joy for Jacques

Jacques Portal (centre) is pictured with other fencers at the Suffolk Invitation Foil.

Jacques Portal (centre) is pictured with other fencers at the Suffolk Invitation Foil. - Credit: Archant

Huntingdon swordsman Jacques Portal has enjoyed the finest success of his career.

The 58 year-old beat a succession of classy – and in many cases much younger – opponents to win the Suffolk Invitation Foil tournament.

Portal, a member of Huntingdonshire Fencing Club, didn’t start well in the prestigious Stowmarket event and languished in seventh place in the rankings after two rounds of pools, but he stormed through the elimination rounds to lift the title.

Portal saw off Great Yarmouth man Rob Johnson 15-9 before earning a 15-13 verdict against Joe Rance of Colchester & District.

His semi-final showdown against Cambridge left-hander Peter Lennard was even tighter. Portal held a 14-11 advantage only to see it wiped out before prevailing 15-14 after gaining the vital point.

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The final showdown against Norfolk opponent Michael Naulis also went right down to the wire with Portal again triumphing 15-14 following a hit to the back in the winner-takes-all duel.

Four current Huntingdonshire Fencing Club members represented the Eastern Region in the Winton Cup at Nottingham.

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Hannah Smyth (women’s foil), George Partridge (men’s epee), Matt Pickering (men’s epee) and Liz Bujor (women’s sabre) all helped their side finish sixth in an event involving all UK regions.

Former Huntingdonshire man Matt Dalton was also part of the epee squad.

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