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Brits take credit from China clash

15 August 2011

The British Gas GBR Women’s Water Polo team emerged with their heads held high after a dramatic defeat to World Championship silver medalists China at the World University Games.

China eventually ran out 15-8 winners to maintain their perfect start to the tournament but the Brits took credit for their performance in an intense encounter with 18-year old Ciara Gibson-Byrne scoring twice for the second consecutive match.

Playing in front of their home crowd, China – whose team contain 12 of their 13-strong World Championship squad – are hot favourites to take the overall title in Shenzhen and took to the water in front of a packed house at the Bao’an Natatorium.

But the British women are riding high in confidence after their opening 8-8 draw with Canada and burst out of the blocks, pulling two goals ahead before finishing the first quarter 3-2 up.

Influential center back Alex Rutlidge was missed after receiving three exclusions in the opening quarter and China put away three penalty shots in the second quarter to move 9-5 ahead at half-time.

The Chinese added another four goals in the third quarter before the Brits ended on a high to tie the final quarter 2-2.

The British women are guaranteed a quarter final place but a victory in their final group match against Italy on Tuesday could see them progress second from Group A and face the third-place finishers in Group B.

CHINA 15 - 8 GREAT BRITAIN

GB goalscorers: Ciara Gibson-Byrne (2), Fran Clayton (2), Frankie Snell (2), Angie Winstanley-Smith, Chloe Wilcox.

Link to match stats

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