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China hold off plucky Brits in Four Nations opener

16th September 2011

World Championship runners-up China came out on top of a physical battle with the British Gas GBR Women’s Water Polo team in the opening round of the Four Nation Invitational in Manchester.

The Chinese have been in scintillating form this season, winning the World University Games last month after their World Championship silver medal in July, and showed their strength in a 14 - 5 victory.

We battled hard and like always showed a great team spirit and we'll look to take that forward into our two matches tomorrow.

The Brits started strongly but a unanswered nine-goal stretch over the second and third periods saw China tighten their grip on the match.

British captain Angie Winstanley-Smith admitted the Chinese were too good on the day but insisted there were positives to take into their matches with Germany and Canada tomorrow.

“It was a really hard match and a really physical match,” said Winstanley-Smith

“China are a very strong team and a very fast team and I think we matched them for lots of the game but didn’t finish as clinically.

“They made fewer mistakes than us and that was what dictated the game.

“We battled hard and like always we showed a great team spirit and we’ll look to take that forward into our two matches tomorrow.”

Chloe Wilcox (2), Frankie Snell, Becky Kershaw and Hazel Musgrove scored the British goals.

Debutante Claire Nixon also put in an encouraging performance and admitted her first taste of the senior international game had left her yearning for more.

“That was a great experience,” said Nixon. “I really enjoyed it and China are a great team to play my first game against.

“It’s a lot faster and more organised at this level and I’m looking forward to getting in there again.”

Great Britain 5 - 14 China (2-2, 1-5, 1-5, 1-2)

Great Britain: Chloe Wilcox (2), Frankie Snell, Rebecca Kershaw, Hazel Musgrove

China: Wang Yi (3), Zhang Lei (3), Chen Yuan (2), Ma Huanhuan (2), Sun Huizi (2), Liu Ping, He Jin

Canada open with a win

Canada sent out a statement of intent in their opener, recording a 22 - 10 victory over Germany.

The Canadians are using the competition as trials for next month’s Pan American Games where they will look to qualify for the London 2012 Olympics.

And Germany struggled to cope with their opponents’ intensity level in the first three quarters as ten Canadian players found the back of the net with Monika Eggens top-scoring on five.

While the Canadians impressed on the counter, there was no let-off in defence with the Germans allowed only a handful of a chances from the pit and needing some pinpoint efforts from distance to find a way past goalkeeper Rachel Riddell.

Germany showed some resolve in the final quarter and reduced the deficit with some well-taken goals.

Canada 22 - 10 Germany (3-1, 7-2, 9-1, 3-6)

Canada: Monika Eggens (5), Carmen Eggens (4), Joelle Bekhazi (3), Christine Robinson (2), Tara Campbell (2), Rosanna Tomiuk (2), Krystina Alogbo, Emily Csikos, Whitney Genoway, Dominique Perreault

Germany: Claudia Blomenkamp (4), Claudia Kern (2), Anja Seyfert, Monika Kruszona, Nina Wengst, Mandy Zöllner

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