DEFENDING champion Neal Mallett won men’s epee silver at the British Veterans’ Championships.

The Oxford University Fencing Club member performed strongly in Manchester, but was beaten by Greg Allen in the final.

Mallett did not lose a fight in the poules, which consist of two rounds where six competitors fence each other.

Individuals must score ten hits in six minutes, with a 60-second rest halfway through.

It meant the 64-year-old was No 2 seed going into the direct elimination of the 72-strong event.

A bye and three comfortable wins saw Mallett into the quarter-finals, where he beat John Hyde 10-8, before overcoming former silver medallist Rob Flatt by the same score line in the last four to guarantee a medal.

It set up a final against former senior British champion Allen, 15 years his junior.

The age gap proved too hard to bridge and Mallett had to settle for silver.