After a inauspicious start to their campaign it what proved to be an incredibly competitive Over 50’s tournament, England dug deep and showed immense character to bring home the lardons from Bordeaux.
After losing and drawing their first two games to a hard working Ireland and an ever improving Basque Country three victories against Italy Wales and France proved to be enough.
Andy Clark’s missed penalty against Ireland proved decisive as they went down the other end to force a heavily deflected shot past debutant keeper Barry Gavilan. A brace of further penalties meant that the spoils were shared as Steve Crilley blasted his home.
Clarke and Weston’s Ed Lilley then netted in the first half which proved to be enough to beat a plucky Italian side.
England were improving every game and the first half against Wales was their best, a piledriver from Blackburn’s impressive David Cafferty then goals from Crilley and Clarke made it 3-0 by half time ensuring a comfortable 3-1 win.
Going into the final fixture they knew only a win would do against free scoring France, but only if Ireland didn’t match their score. A 1-0 victory from an impressive Lilley meant they had done all they could and an incredible 2-1 victory for Basque against Ireland ensure the clean sweep of trophies.
Coach David Castle said,
“I couldn’t have asked anymore of the players, they showed incredible character as we were dead and buried after two games, it proved pretty emotional for all of us.”