Last night in at the University of Limerick in Ireland, England’s national powerchair football team beat Belgium 5 – 1 and France beat hosts Ireland 16 – 1 in the semifinal play to qualify for the finals of EPFA Nations Cup scheduled for later today.
Bryan Weiss tied the French side in most goals scored in the game, with an impressive five goals. He was named the French player of the match. Julien Reniers also scored five goals for the team in their win against Ireland. Jerome Durand scored two, while Erwan Conq, Tristan Delmas and Mohamed Ghelami each scored a goal for France. Aoife Mcnicholl, his team’s player of the match, scored the lone goal for Ireland. The French side won after taking a sizable 11 – 0 lead into half time.
English player Charlie Kitcher scored four of England’s five goals. The English side led the game 2 – 1 at half time. Tiffany Paquet was Belgium’s lone goalscorer.
France has completely dominated the competition and is easily expected to win today’s final. Seven of the top ten scorers in the competition are French, with the French occupying the top six slots. Mohamed Ghelami leads all scorers with 18, Durand is second with 14, Bryan Weiss is third with 13, Tristan Delmas and Julien Reniers have ten each, and Pierre Vincent Gamin has eight. England’s Chris Gordon and Belgium’s Tiffany Paquet are tied with Gamin as sixth leading scorers with their own eight goals. Each leads their respective teams in scoring.
French players are also good at ball distribution, with players creating goal scoring opportunities for their teammates. Durand leads all tournament competitors with 13 assists, while teammate Conq is close behind with 12. Delmas has picked up 10. Weiss has 9. Ghelami is tied with English player Harry Boddy with 8.
Part of the reason for France’s dominance in the competition is that the game is at different levels of development across Europe. Some teams have greater access to powerchair football leagues and competitions on a regular. One of the purposes in the EPFA Nations Cup was to provide increased international competition to improve overall level of play.