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.