British stung by American comeback in Shenzhen
18 August 2011
The British Gas GBR Women’s Water Polo Team’s World University Games campaign suffered another nail-biting turn as they slipped out of the medal reckoning in China.
The British women impressed again for much of their quarter-final encounter with USA with Chloe Wilcox helping herself to a hat-trick, but eventually relinquished an early lead to go down 11-8.
The Brits had looked set for a seeded spot in the quarter finals in China before a last quarter turnaround in Tuesday’s final group match saw Italy snatch a 10-9 victory.
That result left Great Britain with an unenviable match-up against water polo powerhouses USA, who had topped their qualifying group with a perfect record.
But the British took the game to the Americans from the off, scoring from their first attack through Wilcox then doubling their lead straight after through captain Angie Winstanley-Smith.
USA began to find some rhythm but there was no let off as Frankie Snell and Alex Rutlidge added further strikes to put Great Britain 4-2 up at the first interval.
The Americans fought back in the second quarter, upping the pace and pulling level but after defending three man downs towards the end of the quarter, the British defence held on to stay 4-4 at the half way point.
The British started the third quarter positively with Wilcox converting a man-up and Fran Clayton adding to the tally but despite some dramatic saves from goalkeeper Rosie Morris, the Americans built a two-goal lead at 8-6.
There was no way back in the final quarter as the American added another three goals and held tight, only letting through a Winstanley-Smith tap-in and another Wilcox man-up strike.
While a top-four place is now out of sight, the British Gas GBR Women’s Water Polo team will chase fifth place overall, needing a win against Australia on Friday to earn a 5-6 place playoff.
Great Britain 8 – 11 USA
GB goalscorers: Chloe Wilcox (3), Angie Winstanley-Smith (2), Frankie Snell, Alex Rutlidge, Fran Clayton