View from where the games were originally played on White Horse Hill, Uffington,
The AOBC UK Backswording Final 2008 was held at the Uffington White Horse Show, Oxfordshire
over the August bank Holiday weekend
The AOBC’s UK English Country Backswording Finals started with the quarterfinal bouts
on the Sunday morning with Emma Boast fighting Jack Reynolds and Steve ‘The Bulldog’
Williams fighting Tina Holland.
The fight between Emma ‘The Viking’ Boast and Jack ‘Wolfsbane’ Reynolds saw both
fighters going for an extended bout of endurance fighting. The first blood or strike
to the head, the only way to score in Backswording, was taken by Boast from a fast
return from the ward. Reynolds fought back however scoring the next 3 which won him
a place in the semi final on the Monday. However he won at a cost as he took rather
a beating about the ribs and abdomen from Emma Boast.
The second match was between last years winner Steve ‘The Bulldog’ Williams the current
UK Shin Kicking Champion and Tina ‘Long Meg’ Holland. This was a shorter bout but
a ferocious one with many fine exchanges. Both fighters displayed superb handling
of the traditional cudgel and wowed the on looking spectators with their speed and
control. The bout saw Steve win 3 bloods to 0 and so he took the second place in
the semi finals.
In the afternoon the second round of quarter finals were played. Tony ‘The Spider’
Mager the current Colchester Oyster fayre Champion was drawn against Pete ‘Buzzsaw’
Holland. The bout was full on speed and power fighting with both players reaching
scores of 2 bloods each. However the winning blood was taken by Holland giving him
the third place in the semi finals.
Due to no other fighters managing to qualify for the Finals during the year this
left the last place in the semi finals open to the runners up with a ‘dead mans boots’
bout between, Tony ‘The Spider and Tina ‘Long Meg’ Holland.
Again the fight was a joy to behold with the spectators really cheering them on.
The final score was 3 bloods to 0 to Tony who took the last place in the semi finals.
Bank Holiday Monday saw the stage set for some great Backswording. Tony was drawn
against Pete and Steve was drawn against Jack. Both bouts were fought hard and fast.
The winners from both going through to the final in the afternoon and the runners
up would be fighting for the third place position and the bronze medal. The winners
were Steve and Pete and all eyes became fixed on a superb final in the afternoon.
In no time at all Tony and Jack were called for the first bout of the afternoon.
Both fighters gave it their all and the huge crowd of over 400 people went wild at
such a spectacle of skill. Tony proved the more dominant fighter in the match pushing
Jack all the time and keeping him on the back foot. This resulted in Tony ‘The Spider’
taking the Bronze medal with a clear win over a valiant Jack.
Then it was time for the Final. Both fighter Steve and Pete approached the ring,
each focused on winning the coveted Uffington Backswording Cup. On the call to start
the bout both fighters came out all guns blazing, there were blinding exchanges filled
with both cuts and thrusts. This was not going to be a walk over for either man.
Pete went up 2 bloods to 0 when Steve came back and landed a massive blow across
Pete’s jaw. Staggering him a little Pete managed to recover quickly but then lost
a blood as Steve struck home with an expertly placed cut to the head taking the score
to 2 bloods to 1. The speed and power of the fight only seemed to increase as the
two fighters moved about the ring displaying excellent footwork and skill. Then after
two courageous exchanges with the cudgels Pete broke through over Steve’s guard to
score the winning blood.
The crowed went wild as both fighters met in the centre of the ring and shook hands.
It was a truly fantastic final and a great way to end this years AOBC tournament
season. Well done to all those who fought and our thanks go out to the committee
of the Uffington White Horse Show for inviting us to hold our UK finals in Uffington
for the second year running.
This years winner of the Uffington Backswording Cup, Gold medal and AOBC UK Champion
Pete ‘Buzzsaw’ Holland
Runners up were...
Steve ‘The Bulldog’ Williams Silver Medal
Tony ‘The Spider’ Mager Bronze Medal
From the left: Tony Mager, Pete Holland, Steve Williams