A stopping point for a breather, a chance to take stock and a mid-way look at the story so far. With the Le Ballon Football League rolling through a picturesque third season, we get the low down from those picking up the party on the pitch.
Atlético Paris have assumed their default position at the top of the table, surprise package Foot Tang Clan could go second if they win their game in hand while River Dubplate sit rock bottom after continuing to shoot themselves in the foot, then the other foot, then the face. Yes, it is the halfway point of Le Ballon Football League Season 3, and this is The Story So Far.
Matchday 2 saw a return to relative normality. After Bled FC’s shellacking of CCC the week before, they struggled to break down a resilient Pub FC, drawing 1-1. At the same time, CCC were going into overdrive, smashing 7 (CeeFax: seven!) past Glory Hunters after having trailed 2-0 inside 10 minutes. Despite this, it hasn’t been all doom and gloom for the Hunters. They notched up the first win in their history with a last minute thigh-of-Thor from Viking impersonator, Toby Christensen the following week against Pub FC.
Foot Tang Clan have continued their surprising yet merited march towards the top of the table. With a game in hand they are two points behind second placed Paris 75ers. They face off against struggling Pub FC in the postponed fixture on Tuesday. FTC shrugged off the meek challenge from River Dubplate, before earning a spirited 3-3 draw with the 300s. However, Matchday 3 will be remembered more for the off-pitch action that that which took place on it.
The ambulance driver was a busy man, carting Félix Antoine (Pub), Julien Bellaloum (Pub) and Jack Whelan (River) off to the hospital with a broken wrist, nose and concussion respectively. We hope they enjoyed the apple purée through a straw in the waiting room… Meanwhile, back at Stade Bauer, the first red card of the season was being brandished, as Bled FC’s match with the 75ers boiled over after only five minutes. After a small scuffle, a Bled FC attacker - identity withdrawn for his protection (although you can see it on www.leballonfc.com/the-league !) – used some choice words about the referee’s mother and the car park. Bled battled with six men but were eventually overrun. Despite an exceptionally promising start, they sit fifth in the table. However they shouldn’t be too despondent, they face whipping boys, River Dubplate next.
This week, the back pages were hogged by the two pre-season favourites, Atlético Paris v Bled FC. Amongst the handbags on and off the pitch as fouls and insults were traded, a very good game of football threatened to break out. In the end Atlético ran out comfortable 5-1 winners with David Bellion in scintillating form. Without doubt, the highlight of the evening was the return to play (and the score-sheet) of Atlético’s JB Talbourdet. The fleet-footed creator has not played for almost a year since breaking his leg fouling someone last year! In the early kick-off, River bravely lost in ridiculous/hilarious style, again.
The next round of matches promises to be a belter, so if you’re in northern Paris, go say hello. If nothing else, the beer is cheap. Otherwise, stream it live in barely watchable quality on Instagram at @leballonfc. Allez le foot. Allez la bière.
Words by Jack Whelan, Photography by Ugo Richard