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Battling Brits agonisingly short again

12th May 2012

The British Gas GBR Women’s Water Polo team fell agonisingly short of picking up their first victory of their 2012 World League campaign as they slipped to narrow defeats against Greece and the Netherlands.

Having lost out by a single goal in their opening match against Russia on Thursday, the Brits entered their two games on Friday in high spirits against hosts and reigning world champions (Greece) as well as reigining Olympic champions (the Netherlands).

It was another good team effort. We played well and our strong third quarter put us back in the match.

But despite two more encouraging performances, the Brits ultimately fell short by a single goal, losing 8-7 in both matches.

They took on last year's world champions Greece in their first match of the day, the Greeks having failed to qualify for London 2012 in the recent Olympic qualifier.

After their opponents pulled away to 3-0 lead, the British women stormed back into the game, winning the second and third quarters to tie the game 6-6 after three quarters.

And while the Greeks prevailed in the final quarter, British captain Fran Leighton admitted the team were looking forward to taking on their hosts in their second match.

"It was another good team effort," said Leighton. "We played well and our strong third quarter put us back in to the match.

"We're looking forward to playing them again in the next leg."

Chloe Wilcox and Ciara Gibson-Byrne both scored doubles while Fiona McCann, Frankie Snell and Fran Clayton scored the British goals.

With little time to recover, the Brits took on the Netherlands in their second match of the day.

Again the British fell behind early on, losing the first two quarters 2-0 and 2-1 but a third quarter fightback, winning it 5-3, put them one goal behind ahead of the final quarter.

The Dutch managed to hold on with a 1-1 draw in the final quarter but there were more positives to take for the British.

"After a disappointing start to the match we fought back well, scored some good goals and stayed solid in defence," said goalkeeper Rosie Morris.

"Unfortunately it wasn't good enough to be the current Olympic champions."

Chloe Wilcox scored another double, as did Fran Leighton, while Ciara Gibson-Byrne, Claire Nixon and Fran Clayton scored the other goals for GB.

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