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Brits contained by in-form Americans

25 July 2013

The British Gas GBR Women’s Water Polo team finished fourth in their group after defeat to Olympic champions USA on day six of the 2013 World Championships in Barcelona.

Following losses to Canada and defending World champions Greece in their opening two matches, the Brits struggled to impose themselves on the in-form Americans as they slipped to a 16-4 (4-0, 2-2, 3-1, 7-1) defeat.

Ciara Gibson-Byrne (2), Angela Winstanley-Smith (1) and newcomer Kathryn Fowler (1) scored for the British women, who will now face the winners of Group D in the first elimination round on Saturday night.

With eight USA players from last year’s Olympic gold medal winning team in the starting line up, it was always going to be a tough game for the Brits, who are making their return to the World Champs for the first time in ten years.

The USA opened the scoring through Caroline Clarke with team mate Lauren Silver following suit 60 seconds later.

Ciara Gibson-Byrne hit the post on the counter for the Brits with a long lob over goalkeeper Tumu Anae before Olympian Kameryn Craig put the American’s three-nil up. Jillian Kraus added a fourth for the USA to take the score to 4-0 at the end of the first period.

After Chloe Wilcox won the swim off, the determined British defence found their feet in the second, drawing the quarter 2-2.

The USA were first to score via a penalty with Kelly Rulon converting the 5m shot before Winstanley-Smith then opened the scoring for the Brits, hitting the spot from the pit.

Left-hander Gibson-Byrne added a second with a lob shot from the outside to take the score to 5-2 with just over 60 seconds left on the clock.

The Olympic champions were not going to relinquish their lead without a fight and added a sixth with Melissa Seidemann scoring to extend their lead to four as the second quarter ended 6-2.

Centre Back Maggie Steffens hit the mark in the opening minutes of third quarter, converting a penalty shot before adding a second on the next counter attack play.

Rachel Fattal then added a third for the Brits before a time out was called.

The Brits regrouped and it was Gibson-Byrne who added her second, converting a penalty shot with the score at 9-3 with one period remaining.

The USA showed their class with seven goals in the final eight minutes, finding an answer for the British attacking play. American captain Courtney Mathewson led the scoring for the US in the fourth, scoring a penalty after two minutes of play. Roulon then added her second goal which just dipped behind the goal line with Kraus adding a third.

Clarke then added her second for the Olympic champions to extend their lead to 13-3 with three minutes remaining

Craig scored her second for the USA inside the pit with Clarke getting her hat-trick with a shot from the left which deflected off the post and into the goal to take the US total to 15.

Fowler scored her debut international goal for GB with 90 seconds of play remaining before Fattal added a final goal of the game.

“We knew it was going to be a difficult game because they were the Olympic champions,” said GBR Captain Rosie Morris. “We knew it would be hard so we tried a few different things out today because our big game is the elimination game on Saturday and that is the one we really have to win.

“I think we have played in the hardest group, to win you have to beat the Olympic champions, reigning world champions and the champions from 2009.

“We are thinking about the next game now, today everyone got to play and we tried a few more things ahead to Saturday.”

Interim Head Coach for the British Gas GBR Water Polo team, Paul Metz said: “We started off 4-0, we were able to repair that in the second quarter drawing it 2 all. We swapped a few things but they didn’t work out and the USA were definitely a size to big today.

“We will go into any game to get the result. Winning on Saturday will be the best but we respect all teams and we need to play our personal bests on Saturday.”

The Brits will now face an elimination knock out game on Saturday which will determine whether they will qualify for the quarter final stages of the tournament.

-Ends-

·         Goal scorers:

Gibson-Byrne -2

Winstanley-Smith -1

Fowler  - 1

·         Quarter Scores (4-0, 2-2, 3-1, 7-1)

 

The British Gas GBR Water Polo team comprises:-

1.       *Rosie Morris (Birmingham) City of Liverpool/Olympic Nice Natation

2.       *Chloe Wilcox (Carlisle) Carlisle / C.N. Mataro (SPA)

3.       *Fiona McCann (Chester) City of Liverpool

4.       *Ciara Gibson-Byrne (Barcelona) C.N. Mataro (SPA)

5.       Aine Hoy (Manchester) City of Manchester

6.       Claire Nixon (Great Wyrley, Staffs) London Otter/Walsall WP

7.       *Lisa Gibson (Chichester) City of Manchester/T-Hills (USA)

8.       *Hazel Musgrove (Warrington) City of Liverpool/ Szentes (HUN)

9.       **Peggy Etiebet (London) London Otter & Crystal Palace Beacon Programme

10.   *Angie Winstanley-Smith (Newton Aycliffe) Sedgefield 75/ Olympic Nice Natation

11.   *Francesca Clayton (Darlington) City of Liverpool

12.   **Kathryn Fowler (Sutton Coldfield) City of Liverpool/Boldmere

13.   Jade Smith (Oldham) City of Manchester

(* Competed at London 2012)

(** International debut)

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