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Brits extend winning streak in Sunderland

8 November 2013

The British Gas GBR Men’s Water Polo team extended their winning streak with a comfortable defeat of Israel in their second match of the 2014 LEN European Championship Qualifiers in Sunderland.

Having won their warm-up tournament in Malta then romped past Moldova in their opening match in the North East, the Brits showed no sign of breaking their stride as they secured a 12-7 (3-1, 2-1, 4-3, 3-2) victory.

"It was tougher than we expected and a few things didn't go our way but it was crucial we got that second victory," - Sean KingTom Curwen scored a hat-trick for the Brits as they won all four quarters, never pulling more than six goals clear of their opponents but never relinquishing the lead after going 2-1 ahead in the opening quarter.

London 2012 Olympian Sean King also found the net for the Brits and he insisted continuing the team’s winning run in their first two matches in Sunderland was vital.

“It was tougher than we expected and a few things didn’t go our way towards the start of the game but it was crucial we got that second victory here and we’re looking forward to tomorrow’s game against Russia to decide this group,” said King.

“It’s the biggest winning streak we’ve had while I’ve been playing internationally – I think that’s now taken us to seven games.

“So we’re full of confidence at the moment and that’s good for tomorrow.

“It’ll be a faster game tomorrow. The Russians’ counter attack is a lot stronger so it will be completely different to these last two matches but the boys are all confident and we’re feeling ready.”

While the British men had beaten their opponents 19-8 in Malta eight days ago, they weren’t expecting to breeze past an Israel team who notched up 10 goals in their opening day defeat to Russia.

And it was the Israelis who broke the early deadlock as an Omri Dassa shot bounced narrowly over the line after British goalkeeper Matt Holland’s initial block.

Curwen restored parity shortly after with a power shot from 5m before further goals from Glen Robinson and Sean Ryder set the tone for the match and put the Brits 3-1 up at the first interval.

Israel threatened to turn the game on its head in the third quarter, scoring two consecutive goals to pull back to 8-5.

But Declan Thompson’s smart breakaway and finish eased any lingering British nerves and Joe O’Regan’s final quarter tap in after some quick passing in the build-up was the icing on the cake for the home team.

The Brits will face their toughest test of the competition against Russia in their final match tomorrow.

The Russians continued their unbeaten record over the three rounds of qualifying with a demolition of hapless Moldova, eventually winning 39-3 (12-1, 11-1, 8-0, 8-1).

GB goalscorers: Tom Curwen (3), Ciaran James (2), Jake Vincent (2), Sean King, Glen Robinson, Sean Ryder, Declan Thompson, Joe O'Regan

British Gas GBR Water Polo team

  1. Edward Scott (captain)
  2. Ciaran James
  3. Jake Vincent
  4. Sean King
  5. Glen Robinson
  6. Jack Waller
  7. Sean Ryder
  8. Tom Curwen
  9. Joe O Regan
  10. Jonny Kirk
  11. Carl Wyatt
  12. Declan Thompson
  13. Matthew Holland
European Champs 2016