1989 GB Lions

The Finals, in Germany, August 1989

Great Britain 38-6 Germany

European Nations Championship Semi-Final at Hamburg, Germany - August 21st 1989

This was the contest GB had to win to negate all the criticism of their previous winless European Nations Championship performance in 1987. Much more emphasis was given to pre-game preparation and the same staff was appointed both off the field and on from the qualifying game. Players from all levels of the game had been able to tryout and the atmosphere among the team was one of excited expectation.

So the Terry Smith coached Lions team went into the game with only football on their minds and it more than paid off as the host team Germans (runners up in 1987) were swamped. Hood receiver Allan Brown caught two touchdowns while running backs Victor Ebubideke and Trevor Carthy ran in two each themselves. In front of a partisan 6,000 crowd and a national TV audience, the British players put on their best ever performance to lead 19-0 at half-time and 38-0 in the final period. Germany only scored near the end against GB's second string defense.

Great Britain 26-0 Finland

European Nations Championship Final at Arensburg, Germany - August 27th 1989

The pre-tournament favourites for this final had both been defeated and there was further disruption of the original plans when torrential rain caused this game to be staged several hours late and 20 miles from Hamburg, it's original venue.

But none of these problems affected a rampaging Great Britain who adopted a ground attack because of the poor weather conditions and inadequate lighting. Victor Ebubideke and Trevor Carthy again led the charge with the Raven scoring the first points on a 50-yard break over right tackle. A defense which was to make six interceptions then kept the pressure on the Finns. Linebacker Karl Goodwin returned the first interception deep into Finnish territory where Ebubideke completed the job for a 12-0 lead which GB held at the half.

The Finns came out fired up in the second half and almost got back into the game with a long drive only to turn the ball over on downs after a successful GB blitz on fourth and five.

DB Mike Duncan celebrating victory

Britain then surprised their opponents by going to the air and Jason Elliot found Allan Brown in the end zone from 30 yards. An extra point from Toby Hester gave Britain an unassailable 19-0 lead. Carthy finally got in on the scoring act in the fourth quarter to seal a truly memorable victory more impressive than the European Championship had ever seen before.

GB had outscored their opponents 64-6 in the two games (102-12 including the qualifier) and had looked in a class of their own.

Full squad of the finals

QB. Jason Elliot (London Olympians), Chaz Jasicki (Brighton B-52's)
RB. Paul Bailey (Manchester Spartans), Gladstone McKenzie, Clifton Mitchell (Nottingham Hoods), Earl Livermore (London Olympians), Victor Ebubedike (London Ravens), Trevor Carthy (Birmingham Bulls)
WR. Allan Brown (Nottingham Hoods), Paul Rochester (Chelmsford Cherokee), LeRoy Innes (Brighton B-52's), Bob Gaisie (Manchester Spartans)
TE. Tim Casey (Leeds Cougars), Andy Harwood (Thames Valley Chargers)
OT Jo Richardson, Les Tuitt (both London Olympians), Mike Jobson, Mike Smith, Trevor Wooley, Cameron Dundas (all Manchester Spartans), Nick Cressey (Brighton B-52's), Leif Pendel (Bournemouth Bobcats), Pat Campbell (Essex), Gary Mills (Birmingham Bulls)
DL. Phil Wood, Martin Owen, Warren Billingham (all Manchester Spartans), Ken Lewis (Birmingham Bulls), Steve Leatham (London Olympians), Les Jackson, Dave Samuel (both Thames Valley Chargers), Gareth Alyson (Bournemouth Bobcats)
LB. Bob Dean (London Olympians), John Parker (Nottingham Hoods), Karl Goodwin (Bournemouth Bobcats), Colin Nash (Birmingham Bulls)
DB. Clive Loftman (Birmingham Bulls), Mike Duncan, Leroy Burnett (both Brighton B-52's), Dennis Dale, Mike Taylor (both London Olympians), Mark Thaw (Bournemouth Bobcats), Nigel Dias, Sean Mason (both Manchester Spartans)
K. Neal Pearson (Manchester Spartans), 
P. Toby Hester (London Ravens)

Great Britain 35-6 France

European Nations Championship Qualifer at Alexander Stadium, Birmingham - April 29th 1989 

GREAT Britain passed its first major examination for two years with a convincing 35-6 victory over France, Saturday. And it was the Brit defense which registered top marks with a dominating performance that will restore national pride after the Finnish debacle of 1987.

They defended their patch of Alexander Stadium with fanatical devotion, allowing the French to invade UK soil on just two occasions. The conquerors of Holland were restricted to 71yards total offense, including 36yards on a whopping 28 carries by the ineffective rushing squad.

"Our guys were magnificent out there today," said jubilant GB coach Terry Smith. "I couldn’t have asked more from them. The defense was particularly outstanding, and we can now look forward to the European Championships with great confidence

But it was the Britain offense which initially caught the eye, marching 62yards on their first possession to take an immediate 6-0 lead.

With Brighton passer Chas Jasicki at the controls and Spartan Paul Bailey teaming with Olympian Earl Livermore in the back-field, it took just seven plays to hit the jackpot on an 18yard hook-up from the B-52 to Nottingham's Allan Brown.

Fabrice Caporali returned the kick-off to the 41, giving the French good field position to mount a comeback, but the writing was soon on the wall when QB Wilfred Yobe's first two passes were easily broken up by Spartans safety Nigel Dias.

The first attempt at a run was then stuffed behind the line of scrimmage and the French began a continuous procession of three downs and out that would last all afternoon.

Ironically however it was the visitors who were next on the board after a stroke of luck went their way. After another punt the ball was rolling to a stop when it hopped up and brushed Allan Brown's leg, only to be recovered by a gleeful Joel Desserre at the two-yard line. Two plays later Albert Giogiutti dived over the middle for a one-yard score and a 6-6 tie.

However the Brits soon hit back with a play that Terry Smith was to cite as the game turner. Bursting out of the back-field, Bailey swept around left end, saw daylight and was off to the races for an electrifying 64-yard score.

Richard Dunkley then shimmied in for the conversion to give GB a 14-6 edge. The British defense was now establishing a tight stranglehold on their cross-Channel opponents, with Andy Webb, Les Jackson and Joe Richardson outstanding on the line and linebackers John Parker and Dave Chambers also in the thick of the action.

For their pan the French 'D,' minus the inspirational presence of Phoenix draft choice Richard Tardits because of his new team commitments, were successfully stopping the inside run.

Dunkley was having the clamps put on him, gaining 32 yards on eight carries. But one break was all he needed, and it came with 1:32 left in the second. The brilliant youngster high stepped into the end zone on a 15-yard run to give the Brits a 21-6 halftime bulge.

In the third quarter Olympian Jason Elliot replaced an injured Jasicki, but with a stalling offense struggling to gain consistency no points were scored. Bailey was also withdrawn from the action with 92 yards on six carries, giving Gladstone McKenzie much more of the ball.

After the second interception by Solent linebacker Karl Goodwin early in the fourth quarter, the running back continued the share out of the offensive spoils with a two yard burst up the middle.

Elliot’s keeper for two points then jacked the score up even further to a comfortable 29-6 margin. The biggest cheer of the day was to still to come when, two possessions later, local hero Trevor Carthy stepped out into the GB backfield.

Starting on the halfway line, he duly confirmed his superstar status, twisting and gyrating seven times for 50yards and sealing the trip to Germany with a two yard smash for the final score.

Praising an offense which totalled 44yards in the air and 279yards on the ground, Terry Smith commented, "As we continue to work together things will come together even more. We have some great athletes on the offensive unit and they turned in an encouraging performance today."


Rushing. Bailey 6-92, Livermore 3-7, O'Neill 3-15, Dunkley 8-32, Jasiki 1-11, MacKenzie 13-41, Elliott 1-1, Carthy 7-50
FR Yobe 2-2, Cestaro 10-15, Gidgiutti 7-0, Toulach 8-13, Cortail 1-6

Passing. Jasiki 2-6-0-33, Elliott 1-4-0-11.
FR Yobe 2-13-2-19, Caporali 3-4-0-24

Receiving. Brown 3-44.
FR Giguel 1-17, Cortail 3-25, Paquet 1-1

Sacks. Chambers 1-11.
FR Bluet 1-12, Chevalier-Joly 1-1

Interceptions. Goodwin 2.

Full squad of GB vs. France 1989

QB. Jason Elliot (London Olympians), Chaz Jasicki (Brighton B-52's)
RB. Paul Bailey (Manchester Spartans), Richard Dunkley, Earl Livermore (both London Olympians), Mark Irving (Brighton B-52's), Gladstone McKenzie (Nottingham Hoods), Vinnie Miller (Manchester Allstars), Lloyd O'Neill (Birmingham Bulls)
WR. Allan Brown (Nottingham Hoods), Clive Etienne (Ashton Oilers), Paul Rochester (Chelmsford Cherokee), Dave Slater (London Olympians), Alan Taitt (London Lasers)
TE. Tim Casey (Leeds Cougars), Andy Harwood (Thames Valley Chargers), Elliott Newton (Portsmouth Warriors)
OL. Paul Campbell (Essex Buccaneers), Nick Cressey (Brighton B-52's), Mike Smith, Cameron Dundas, Mike Jobson (all Manchester Spartans), Gary Mills (Birmingham Bulls), Leif Pendel (Bournemouth Bobcats), Jo Richardson, Les Tuitt (both London Olympians)
DL. Gareth Alyson (Bournemouth Bobcats), Warren Billingham (Manchester Spartans), Les Jackson (Thames Valley Chargers), Steve Leatham (London Olympians), Dave Samuel (Thames Valley Chargers), Andrew Webb (Birmingham Bulls)
LB. Dave Chambers, Bob Dean London (both London Olympians), Karl Goodwin (Portsmouth Warriors), John Lambert (Bournemouth Bobcats), Ken Lewis, Clive Loftman (both Birmingham Bulls), John Parker (Nottingham Hoods), Phil Wood (Manchester Spartans)
DB. Leroy Burnett, Mike Duncan (both Brighton B-52's), Trevor Carthy (Birmingham Bulls), Dennis Dale, Mike Taylor (both London Olympians), Nigel Dias, Sean Mason (both Manchester Spartans), Mark Thaw (Bournemouth Bobcats)
K. Andrew Flippance (Lincoln Bombers)
P. Toby Hester (London Ravens)

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