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Brits to face USA after thrilling finale to group stages

16 August 2011

The British Gas GBR Women’s Water Polo team will face USA in the World University Games quarter finals after finishing their group stage with a narrow defeat to Italy.

The Brits' nerves had been through the ringer already in Shenzhen, having drawn with Canada and pushed World Championship silver medallists China hard in their previous two matches.

But there was no let off in their final group match as a final quarter surge from Italy saw them take a 10-9 victory in a nail-biting encounter at the Bao’an Natatorium.

The Brits started strongly, moving 5-2 clear with goals from Frankie Snell (2), Ciara Gibson-Byrne, Chloe Wilcox and Vicky Bowen before the Italians stole one back just before the first interval.

Italy were first out of the blocks in the second quarter, bagging two quick goals before taking the lead with an excellent lob.

But the British women wrestled momentum back against as half time approaches, with Wilcox and Bowen converting their second goals of the match and hand the Brits a 7-6 lead at half time.

Italy were not to be deterred and their next man up was converted.  The British had a lot of chances but the luck wasn’t with them as a number of shots rebounded off the posts.

However, Snell managed to put another goal on the board and a good defence maintained a one-goal lead at 8-7 with one quarter remaining.

Italy levelled again through a penalty early in the final quarter and while Snell bagged her fourth of the game, Italy converted two more attacks to steal a 10-9 victory.

While a British victory would have seen them progress second from the group, instead they finish fourth and will face Group B winners USA in Thursday's quarter final.

Great Britain 9 - 10 Italy

GB goalscorers: Frankie Snell (4), Vicky Bowen (2), Chloe Wilcox (2), Ciara Gibson-Byrne

Link to match stats

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