The second round of the 2018 French Ladies Football Championship was hosted by Niort Gaels this past weekend with seven teams taking part on the day. The seven teams were split into two pools, with Pool A having 4 teams and Pool B having 3 teams. Pool A was made up of Paris, Bordeaux, the Drag’Angez (combined Niort & Angers team) and Nantes. Pool B contained reigning champs Rennes, Clermont and a combined Lyon/Vannes side.
The first match in Pool A saw the Drag’Angez take on Paris Gaels. Paris won this one relatively comfortably 1-6 (9) – 0-2 (2). Next up was a Federal vs Breton match with Bordeaux taking on the ladies from Nantes. The Federal side took the bragging rights here, winning 2-2 (8) – 0-2 (2). Bordeaux made it two wins on the trot in the next match by accounting for the Drag’Angez in a tighter match 0-6 (6) – 0-2 (2). Paris must have been wary of Bordeaux building momentum ahead of their match as they put on a clinic against Nantes, racking up the scores in a 4-5 (17) – 0-1 (1). Having lost both their opening two games, the Drag’Angez and Nantes only had pride to play for in their final pool game but in the end, Nantes came out the right side of an extremely close 1-1 (4) – 0-3 (3) scoreline. Who would top the group came down to a crunch match between Paris and Bordeaux. Paris were unable to reproduce the scorefest that was their previous match, but had the guile all the same to see out a third victory in a row, beating their rivals from the south 1-6 (9) – 0-2 (2).
In Pool B it would be a case of who can stand up against the reigning champs Rennes who were eager to win their second tournament on the trot. The combined Lyon/Vannes team had no answer to Renne’s dominance, falling to a heavy 2-12 (18) – 0-1 (1) defeat. Neither did the Clermont Ladies as they also succumbed to a large defeat, Rennes securing top spot with a 2-9 (15) – 0-4 (4) win. All was not lost for Clermont and Lyon/Vannes however, as whoever won their matchup would wrap up second position and go onto the semi-finals to face Paris. This was a much more competitive affair but in the end, the ladies from Clermont showed their class and secured a semi-final birth with a 1-7 (10) – 0-2 (2) win.
The semi-finals would see Pool A winners Paris take on Pool B runners up Clermont whilst Rennes, winners of Pool B would take on Bordeaux, the runners up in Pool A. The two pool winners showed proved their class once again here with Paris dominating Clermont 3-4 (13) – 0-3 (3) and Rennes breezing past Bordeaux 0-8 (8) – 0-0 (0) to set up a repeat of the previous tournament’s final.
Rennes came out on top when they faced Paris in the Clermont tournament’s final so the girls from the capital were out for revenge. Both sides showed why they are the top two teams in the country in an extremely entertaining final but as so often is the case, the ladies from Rennes once again managed to pull off the win, coasting to a 3-6 (15) – 1-3 (6) victory.
All eyes will now turn to the next round which will be hosted by the winners here, Rennes.
You can view the full set of results from this tournament here.