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Saturday, February 16 2019 @ 02:40 pm ACDT

Battle Royale – CNFA (France)

The Bordeaux Bombers played host to the Paris Cockatoos yesterday in their Round 4 encounter, and between them they played a game for the ages. In one of the tightest CNFA games seen for a long time, the Cockatoos held on after an incredibly tight game by just one point – to whoops of delight from exhausted Cockatoos and broken hearts (but not spirits) from the Bombers.

At the first change, just a goal separated the teams (Bombers 15, Cockatoos 21) whilst the second quarter saw the Bombers claw ahead to take the same advantage to the half time break (Bombers 29, Cockatoos 23). The Cockatoos came out in the third quarter and in a dour struggle managed to gain enough advantage to lead by just five points at the final change (Bombers 42, Cockatoos 47).
The last quarter was a magnificent contest as both teams punched and counter-punched. There are games where a draw is the only fair and just result, and this would have been one of those games. The Bombers kept on getting closer and closer by degrees. But, by the final siren, the Paris Cockatoos had their noses in front by just a solitary point. The final scores saw the Cockatoos hold on over the Bombers 69 to 68.

The clash in Toulouse was not a close battle. The Paris Cockerels, also on the road for the weekend, got away early in their clash against the Toulouse-based Aviators, and never looked back. Their relentless attacking across the four quarters was only matched by their defensive efforts to keep the Aviators from mounting any kind of competitive score-line. In the end, the Cockerels came away with a big, percentage boosting win with the finals score 181 to 19.

All four of the teams that played this weekend now go into their winter recess – none playing again until early March. Next weekend will see the final games of 2017 when the Cergy-Pontoise Coyotes host the ALFA Lions in a huge game, whilst the Perpignan Tigers face a daunting task hosting the undefeated Toulouse Hawks.

After this weekend’s matches, the Cockerels join the Hawks with three wins from three games and are well placed going into the run to the finals next year. With two wins from three matches, the Cockatoos are also tracking well. With one win from four matches, the Bombers can maybe consider themselves unlucky, but will likely be in a battle for fourth place come finals time with the ALFA Lions and Coyotes. The Aviators are still finding their way, but with a win from their first four matches, they are in a position to improve on that next year.

Next week, the Hawks have a chance to grab the outright lead with four wins from four games against Perpignan. The Tigers themselves will be using the time to develop then rest before a new onslaught after the break. The ALFA Lions and Cergy-Pontoise Coyotes are both in the same boat – one win from three games – but their clash next weekend will be vital to both sides and could shape the ultimate finals make-up.

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