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Brits look to playoffs after Russia defeat

9 November 2013

The British Gas GBR Men’s Water Polo team brought their European Championship qualification group campaign to a close with a stirring defeat against Russia in Sunderland.

Competing against a Russian team who went unbeaten through all three rounds of qualification, the Brits took the game to their more experienced opponents, trailing by just one goal ahead of the final quarter before ultimately succumbing 13-6 (3-2, 3-1, 1-3, 6-0).

"We’re obviously disappointed from today but we’re really happy with some of the performances we’ve had over the last few weeks," - Ed ScottHaving defeated Moldova and Israel in their opening two matches in the North East, the Brits will now progress to the final stage of qualification – a two-leg playoff against Spain, Romania or Croatia in February and March next year.

And after competing internationally in front of a home crowd for the first time since London 2012, captain and goalkeeper Ed Scott admits the squad are desperate to carry on the momentum from their recent form of seven consecutive wins before the Russia result.

“We’re obviously disappointed from today but we’re really happy with some of the performances we’ve had over the last few weeks and we want to build on that for the next round of qualifiers,” said Scott.

“It’ll be great to have another match in Great Britain with a home leg in the next round so we’ll all really look forward to that now.

“We knew the match tonight was going to be quicker but we stuck with Russia all the way up to the last quarter and did well to match them.

“I think it showed our fitness isn’t quite up to scratch compared to the Russians. If we want to play at the same level as them we need to keep working hard and training away.”

There was little to choose between the two teams in the first quarter as two Ciaran James goals saw Great Britain 3-2 down at the first interval.

The Russians established a 6-3 lead at half-time but the Brits wrestled back momentum in the penultimate quarter, James completing his hat-trick to leave the tie hanging in the balance at 7-6 to Russia with one quarter remaining.

But an early Russian goal set the tone for the final quarter and they ultimately pulled clear to secure the win.

In the first match on the final day in Sunderland, Israel finished third in the group after a 22-7 (3-1, 4-1, 9-2, 6-3) defeat of Moldova .

GB goalscorers: Ciaran James (3), Jake Vincent, Sean King, Glen Robinson

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