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Brits go out fighting in World Champs Knockout

27 July 2013

The British Gas GBR Women’s Water Polo team fell to Olympic semi finalists Hungary in the knockout match of the FINA World Championships.

The Brits ultimately lost 14-5 (4-2, 4-2, 2-0, 4-1) at the conclusion of the game which was a much closely fought affair.

Chloe Wilcox won her first of four swim offs at the first whistle but it was Hungary who were first to score through Dora Kisteleki. Claire Nixon followed up with a goal for GB.

Hungary then pulled away to score three goals through Kisteleki, then two from Barbara Bujka before Ciara Gibson-Byrne pulled a goal back for the Brits and the end of the quarter it was 4-2.

Rita Keszthelyi opened the scoring for the Hungarians in quarter 2 followed by Kisteleki, then Ibolya Miskolczi converted a penalty shot without a British response.

But determined Angie Winstanley-Smith turned in centre forward to find the target followed by a swim away goal from Fee McCann to put the Brits back to 8-4 at the half time buzzer.

Chloe Wilcox won the swim off for the third time to give the Brits the first possession but after 90 seconds it was the Hungarian Bujka who was the first to score to extend the Hungarian lead to 9-5.

The Brits were awarded a penalty but the referee turned over the decision as Nixon lined up to take the shot.

Hungarian Toth then scored on the counter to put her team six goals clear.

Nixon and Gibson-Byrne both hit the post and goal keeper Rosie Morris made a spectacular save to deny another Hungarian shot on goal.

At the end of the third quarter, the score remained 10-4 the European bronze medallists.

Another goal from in-form Bujka at the start of the fourth quarter put the Hungarians well clear after 90 seconds but the Brits through Nixon pulled one back.

Bujka again found the target and Kisteleki took advantage of the man up to make it 13-5 before Antel put the Hungarians, and the quarter finals,  out of reach for the Brits.

Rosie Morris, Captain of the GBR team said: “We were hoping we would win tonight.

"Our main tactic was to get lots of drives and get the majors but it didn't work out for us," - Rosie Morris“Our main tactic was to get lots of drives and get the majors but it didn’t work out for us, we didn’t get the majors we were hoping for on attack.

“They got five goals through their centre forward and she is quite a strong girl so there are a few things we can learn from in the future.

“Five of our team haven’t played in a major tournament before so it’s been a huge learning experience for us.

“At the end of the game when we knew we had to catch up we went into ‘M-zone’ defence  which is more risky but it was too risky for us and we conceded a few goals but we had to take the chance.

“Rio is our focus, we’ll have a new coach, new players and all this is about building for that.”

Interim Head Coach Paul Metz said: “If you look at the score, it is a big loss and it’s never satisfying if you are in an elimination situation.

“Playing at this level is a fantastic experience for the new players on the team and for those players who were at the Olympics but didn’t get much match play during the Games.

“We didn’t have the most experienced team here in Barcelona but we knew that three months ago and it has been a huge learning experience  and the outcome has been hard.”

The match concludes a tough week for the Brits who have arguably had the toughest draw of the tournament facing Olympic champions USA, reigning World Champions Greece, 2009 World Champions Canada and 2012 European Bronze medallists Hungary.

•    Claire Nixon – 2

•    Ciara Gibson-Byrne – 1
•    Angie Winstanley-Smith – 1
•    Fiona McCann - 1

Quarter scores:
(Q1: 4-2, Q2: 4-2, Q3: 2-0, Q4: 4-1)

European Champs 2016