There never seemed much doubt that England's women's team would win the championship, even though the Dutch were led by Vanessa Atkinson.
Vicky Botwright began with a comfortable 3-0 win over Karen Kronemeyer, having too much pace and variety of shot for her opponent.
The top string match ws second on and for a while neither player settled, but Cassie Jackman always looked to have the edge and led 2-0 and 5-0 in the third. Atkinson roused herself and had a couple of game balls in the third, before the world no 1 clinched the match and the title for England.
Linda Charman completed matters with a 2-0 win over Annalize Naude in the dead rubber.
The men set out to avenge the World Championship defeat and a happy team, combining experience of a high order and promising younger players, they they were well placed to do so.
James Willstrop versus Jean-Michel Arcucci looked a mismatch on current world form and so it proved. A concentrated Willstrop led 9/1 9/0 before Arcucci did better in the third, but still lost it to 5.
The French might have hoped for something out of the Renan Lavigne versus Nick Matthew match, but Matthew is vastly improved and nine in the world now and has played well for England. He was excellent in the first two, played controlled, well-shaped squash and although Lavigne battled well in the third, Matthew drew away from 5-all to win 9/5 and give England a 2-0, 6-0 lead.
Peter Nicol, back to world no 1 again, winner of the Qatar Masters and clearly refreshed by his venture in the mountains, faced Thierry Lincou and, truth to tell, the Frenchman was not at the races.
Nicol took charge to win the first 9/3 and then played dazzlingly to win 9/1, 9/3. The two thousand two hundred crowd, subdued by Willstrop and Matthew, were now stunned.
With the match dead and buried there was no danger of Vienna's shenanigans when Lee Beachill faced Gregory Gaultier. The Englishman soon lost interest and allowed the French a little compensation.
A splendid venue, Le Liberté, with the magnificent crowd, were much to the organisers' credit and though their men's team did not fulfil their expectation, the French can ve very proud of staging the championships in one of the best settings I have ever seen.
England captain Peter Nicol paid elegant tribute to the host's efforts.
Top marks, France, for such magnificent standards.
Neither of the England teams were in any way troubled to make the finals of the European Team Championships in Rennes.
The women played a young Belgian team on the glass court and were far too experienced. Cassie Jackman and Linda Charman both won in a canter and European Junior Champion Charlie De Rycke was well overpowered by England newcomer Jenny Duncalf.
England will play the Netherlands, who beat France in their semi-final, in the final and despite having Vanessa Atkinson at 1, the Dutch prospects look remote. Vicky Botwright, released on her England debut, will be at no 3.
The men, resting Nick Matthew,
dispatched Wales 4-0. Back to no 1 in the world rankings, Peter Nicol beat
Alex Gough, Lee Beachill beat David Evans in the dead rubber. After four
matches no England player has dropped a game and they will play on the
glass court in the final for the first time, which should suit them well.
Willstrop v Arcucci