CNFA North Cup
Guest reporter Mike "magic" Cowan reports on another busy day at the office during the first Coupe Du Nord held in Cergy Pontoise. Many thanks to the Coyotes for a really well run tournament.
26 march 2016, Stade Municipale de Pontoise
P. Boscart (c), C. Woods,H. Ryan, S. Saare, P. Erra, D. Blechynden, F. Daniels, C. Robson, T. Azemard, A. Unsworth, A. Moore, M. Cowan.
After a “light” training session on the Friday night leading up to the Saturday, a group of players and always appreciated volunteers showed up at Saint-Lazare station nice and early to make the journey out to Cergy to take on the Cergy Coyotes, Lyon Lions and the All stars team in the inaugural Coupe Du Nord.
As we arrived at the ground we were met with “instructions” on how things were going to take place for the day, so we readied ourselves and started to warm-up in anticipation for our first game.
10h45 vs Lyon ALFA Lions:
Lyon came out of the blocks better organized and prepared than the Cockerels, with Thibaut showing why he’s a good inclusion in the French team by rushing through the middle with ease and setting up the first goal for the lions. From that point on we knew what we were in for, and by tightening up in the middle and making good ball placement decisions from Stuey the surgeon we were able to solidify our middle structure and use that momentum set up our first goal. The Lyons though weren’t letting up, and by half time they were up by a goal and maintained that lead through most of the game. Feeling the pressure, the cocks stood up and were able to bring it back to within a few points leading into the final minute’s thanks in large to the solid contested marking from both Boscart and Stu. Meanwhile Pierre Erra was holding things together down in defense. With only minutes left, and the cocks down by a point, Woodsy got the ball out from defense and carried it through the middle, putting it on the boot just within the centre square. The ball carried and was heading through the big uprights when the safe hands of Boscart marked it on the line carrying it through. The umpire contentiously awarded a point instead of a mark as Boscart was seen to be playing on. With that the score was tied and remained so until the final siren. Though a little frustrated with the draw the cocks knew that we could bounce back.
Score: Lions 35 – Cocks 35
12h15 vs Cergy Coyotes
After the draw against Lyon the cocks needed a win to have a chance at the finals. We came out of the blocks firing with a couple quick goals and a few behinds. It wasn’t until their middle tagged us up and their inspirational and vocal leader Hervé got going, that they were able to mount some pressure and get a couple quick goals to get back in contention at the half way point.
In the second half we were bolstered by our All Australian/French defenseman Hugh “Fedex” Ryan. With the likes of him and Erra cementing our defense, the middle was able to free up a little bit and the forwards were able to lead into open space with Boscart and Karl taking some good contested marks. Though the players from Cergy put in a close encounter, the Cocks were able to come away with a well fought win and a chance to play in the final.
Score: Coyotes 20 – Cocks 34
17h15 vs Cergy Coyotes
With tired and fatigued bodies after playing the tournament without any substitutions the Cocks were happy to be boosted by the inclusion of Sevo and Swadda to help rotate the bench and to bring more experience to the team.
With the middle make-up being moved around due to the early departure of our ruckman, and the need for a more aggressive attack in the middle, Cergy pounced on the confused structure and was up by 2 goals within minutes. The Cocks were able to get a few back through Karl and Woodsy’s front and center forward line. At half time the coyotes were still a goal and a half up with almost one hand on the trophy.
We rallied at half time and were ready to put it to Cergy. We found our form in the middle and were helped by good running coming from our back line, setting up the forward line for some quick goals. A brilliant play from Thomas was witnessed as he ran around what seemed like 6 defenders in a figure 8 to kick a marvelous goal.
With the inspirational Cocks anthem being sung from the Cockerelles off the field, the cocks took that boost and never relented on the score board with birthday boy Blechy booting through 2 in succession to put the trophy firmly in our hands.
Cergy played a great game till the end and were great hosts for the tournament.