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Britain get Hungarian campaign off to winning start

11 Oct 2010

The British Women’s Water Polo Team, powered by British Gas, got their Hungarian campaign off to a winning start with a 26-5 victory over Heracles II.

With their original game against UVSE-Salamander rescheduled, the team kicked off their first match of the season playing in the Hungarian National League with a convincing performance against the Hungarian side.

Britain’s Fran Clayton got the scoring underway converting a penalty won by Angie Winstanley-Smith. A flourish of goals by the Brits followed with Clayton, Winstanley-Smith and Lisa Gibson all finding the net.

The team continued into the second quarter and the goals kept on coming as tactical play from the team ended with Alex Rutlidge, Rebecca Kershaw and Ciara Gibson getting their names on the scoreboard as Britain began to run away with the match.

After losing the ball at the start of the third quarter a solid defence soon saw the team recover possession and maintain their dominance over the match with a further five goals making their way past the Heracles defence.

The final quarter signalled the opportunity for Britain to extend the goal difference and excellent play saw further goals from Winstanley-Smith, Lisa Gibson, Hawkins, Clayton and McCann to end their first match on a high note.

With a win under their belts, the team faced what is likely to be their hardest opposition in the league - defending champions Dunaujvaros.

Britain made a good start to the game with Winstanley-Smith scoring on the first attack and Rachel Drabble netting a second at the very end of the opening quarter which ended 2-1 to Britain.
In the second quarter Winstanley-Smith and McCann both scored from man-up situations and a great save made by Nicholls halfway through kept Britain within touching distance as the quarter ended 5-4 in favour of the opposition.

Britain started the third quarter well with a Winstanley-Smith scoring from a rebound. Dunaujvaros scored another two goals before Vicky Bowen found the net, however the Hungarian side’s experience proved crucial as they netted a further four with Britain only able to score one in response after Lisa Gibson converted a goal mouth scramble. The quarter ended with the defending champions 12-7 up.

With eight minutes remaining and a fight on their hands Britain continued well in the final quarter with Lisa Gibson scoring in first minute. Nicholls made an important save in a scramble of several players and Clayton scored from a man-up shortly after. Bowen made a great steal in the goal mouth but the opposition scored several times before Clayton bagged her second goal of the quarter converting a penalty in the last minute.

Despite a tough match the Brits managed to keep the score line close, eventually falling 16-11.

The team currently lie second in the table behind Dunaujvaros with Angie Winstanley-Smith and Fran Clayton top goal scorers in the league with ten and six respectively.

The team will next fly out to Hungary to contest three matches against Kecskemet, Honved and UVSE-Salamander between 21st and 23rd October.

The British Women’s Water Polo Team, powered by British Gas, consists of:
Rosemary Morris (City of Liverpool)
Robyn Nicholls (City of Manchester)
Fiona McCann (City of Liverpool)
Francesca Snell (West London Penguins)
Aine Hoy (City of Manchester)
Alexandra Rutlidge (City of Manchester)
Lisa Gibson (City of Manchester)
Victoria Bowen (City of Sheffield)
Angela Winstanley-Smith (City of Manchester)
Francesca Clayton (City of Liverpool)
Rachel Drabble (City of Liverpool)
Ciara Gibson (City of Manchester)
Rebecca Kershaw (City of Manchester)
Victoria Hawkins (Warley)

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