Brits qualify for European Championships
19 January 2014
The British Gas GBR Women’s Water Polo team have qualified for the LEN European Championship finals having beaten Portugal 14-8 in their final qualifying match.
Great Britain opened the scoring with a goal from Fran Clayton and took a starting lead at the end of the first quarter. The Brits retained the lead for the rest of the match, but Portugal remained on their heels throughout the two middle quarters. Ciara Gibson Byrne was again amongst the main goal scorers, including two penalties.
"We are looking forward to the challenge of playing in the finals in July" - Captain Rosie Morris The British team moved further ahead in the final quarter with a goal from Lisa Gibson and two from Angie Winstanley Smith cementing a 14-8 (3-1, 4-4, 4-3, 3-0) victory.
The result meant GBR finished second behind Group A tournament hosts the Netherlands, having also won against Ukraine and Israel. They will join the winners of Group B and pre-qualifiers Italy, Russia, Greece and Hungary for the finals in Budapest in July.
Captain Rosie Morris, said: “We’re all really pleased that we’ve qualified again for the final and look forward to that challenge in the summer.”
Morris also paid tribute to her long term team mate Fiona McCann who played her last match for the British Gas GBR Water Polo team today as she retires from international competitions.
“Fiona has been a great GBR team mate and has been central to our progress over the last 10 years. We will all miss her, especially her commitment and will to win for the team in the pool.”
The team head straight to Barcelona to play Spain in a FINA Women’s World League match on Tuesday.
GBR goalscorers: Ciara Gibson-Byrne (4); Angie Winstanley-Smith (3) Fran Clayton (2); Chloe Wilcox (2); Lisa Gibson (2); Aine Hoy.
Click here to view the British team that played in the 2014 European Championships qualifiers.