EFAF revamped the European Championship in 2002, by forming three Pools. The elite countries would compete in Pool A in 2005, but the first round of tournaments began in 2003, when Russia emerged with an unbeaten record in Pool C that was hosted by Denmark. Russia defeated Italy 43-35 in the final, and were promoted to Pool B that was hosted in Amiens, France in 2004. Great Britain were placed in Pool B, and would take on Russia, the hosts and Spain.
European Nations Championship Pool B at Amiens, France - 23rd-28th August 2004
Russia 21-24 Great Britain
In the first ever meeting between the sides, Great Britain QB Adam Lane completed 22 of 32 for 253 yards and 3TDs to inspire the Lions from a 14-10 half-time deficit to win their opening Euro 2004 Group B clash 24-21. GB scored in the first quarter on Lane's pass to Junior Price, and then Pete Rogers field goal closed the gap just before half-time. Russia jumped out to a 21-10 lead in the 3rd quarter before Lane's 4th quarter heroics. Lane passed for 2 TD's to East Kilbride's WR Mark Squire (the 2nd one inside the 2 minute warning). Veteran Mark Cohen caught the 2 PAT to give GB a narrow lead which they held onto.
Great Britain 41-0 Spain
Great Britain continued their fine form at the European Championships with a convincing 41-0 win over Spain. Star QB Adam Lane completed 23 of 30 passes for 321 yards and threw for 4 TD's, and there were further rushing TD's by Anthony Perkins and Marc Saunders. GB opened the scoring with a 5 yard pass to Mark Cohen, and the lead was extended by Perkins first TD for his country.
GB went into half-time leading 27-0 on the back of Lane's 35 yard pass to Cohen, and Junior Price's 36 yard catch from Lane. In the 3rd quarter, the result was put beyond doubt with Lane's 55 yard pass to Mark Squire, and then Marc Saunders's 1 yard run. Pete Rogers kicked 5 PAT's out of 6. GB went on to face hosts France in their final game, with the winner qualifying for the elite Pool A competition in 2005.
Great Britain 18-17 France
Great Britain won promotion to Pool A of the European Championship, with a fantastic 18-17 victory over France. Trailing 7-0, and then having star QB Adam Lane knocked out of the game, stand-in QB Pete Rogers passed for 2 TD's to Mark Squire and Tam Bryne. Rogers tied the scores at 7-7 on a pass to Squire, but with 2.45 left in the 3rd quarter, France took a 14-7 lead. With just over 10 minutes left in the match, Rogers passed for his 2nd TD of the game (to Tam Bryne), and a courageous call by Coach Riq Ayub to go for the 2 PAT was successful when Steve Coles burst over the line to give GB a 15-14 lead. France kicked a 25 yard field-goal with 3.30 mins left to lead 17-15, but GB were not to be denied as Pete Rogers kicked a 30 yard field goal with 38 seconds remaining in the game to give the Lions the Pool B championship.
Lions celebrate their amazing win
Riq Ayub collecting the trophy
2004 GB Lions Squad for the EFAF Group B Championship in Amiens, France, 23rd-28th August 2004
QBs: Steve BOOTH (Nene Valley Hybrids), Adam LANE (London O's), James Kilby (Coventry Jaguars), Peter ROGERS (Gateshead Senators)
RBs: , Steve COLES (Ipswich Cardinals), Phil McGRATH (Lancashire Wolverines), Anthony PERKINS (Redditch Arrows), Marc SAUNDERS (PA Knights)
WRs: Duncan ALDOUS (London Blitz), Tamas BYRNE (London O’s), Rodney EDGERTON (PA Knights), Junior PRICE (London O’s), Mark COHEN (Coventry Jaguars), Mark SQUIRE (East Kilbride Pirates)
OL: Glen BOYLE, Thomas PALMER (both Sussex Thunder), Steve CLEMENTS, Nick CROWE (all London O’s), Paul NEWEY (Coventry Jaguars), Pete JONES, Steve HOPKINS, Charlie WILSON (all Bristol Aztecs), Brian LONG (Doncaster Mustangs)
LBs: Aaron ALEXIS, Damian ANDERSON (both London O’s), Jason BRISBANE (London Blitz), Craig McDONNELL and Craig PENNINGTON (both Lancashire Wolverines), Dale POWELL (Southern Sundevils)
DBs: Adam BIGGS (Lancashire Wolverines), Simon KOCKELBURG (PA Knights), Onoh OZONGWU, Wesley ROACH (both London O’s),
DEs: Marco FASULO (London O’s), Shaun SMITH (Southern Sundevils)
DL: Steve HARRISON (PA Knights), D. WATTS, Sean HOPKINS (Bristol Aztecs), Paul EVANS (London O’s)
The following players were selected for the squad but did not travel: Kofi CAMPBELL (Bristol Aztecs), Lennox JOHNSON (London Blitz), Ivor CLARK (East Kilbride Pirates), Mike SUTHERLAND (Bristol Aztecs), Lawrence REID, Gary THOMAS (both London O's)
Head Coach - Riq Ayub
Offensive Co-Ordinator - Jim Messenger
Defensive Co-ordinator - Tony Mulhall
Defensive Line Coach - Steve Collins
Offensive Line Coach - Mark Hopkins
DB Coach - Eddie Thompson
Assistant Coach - Warren Smart
Assistant Coach - Roger Smithies