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Great Britain edged out by in-form Szentes in Hungary

26 November 2010

Great Britain’s Women’s Water Polo team, powered by British Gas, slipped to a 7-3 defeat against in-form Szentes in the Hungarian National League.

Two goals from Chloe Wilcox saw the match balanced on a knife-edge at 2-2 at half-time but a strong third period from the recently-crowned Hungarian Cup winners Szentes saw them pull clear.

Kitti Miskolczi eventually scored five as third-placed Szentes sealed the points but there were positives to take for the British girls who take on fourth-placed Szeged on Saturday.

Great Britain team members Angie Winstanley-Smith and Fran Leighton report from Budapest:

Q1

After winning the first swim off the game Szentes wasted no time in showing why they were recently crowned Hungarian Cup champions.

Their fluid attack was met by an equally impressive GB defence with two steals from Alex Rutlidge and Ciara Gibson but eventually Szentes eventually scored by a quick pass and a bounce shot.

With 54 seconds left on the clock GB finally made some head way with Lisa Gibson winning a penalty. Unfortunately Ciara only found the woodwork. Lisa found herself excluded at the other end of the pitch shortly after and the foul was promoted to a penalty after a butchering action by GB goalkeeper Rosie Morris. How the absent Fiona McCann would be proud!

Rosie redeemed herself and made a fantastic save and just before the end of the quarter Chloe Wilcox brought GB level with a fast 5m foul and shot, ending the first quarter 1-1.

Q2

The second quarter started in the most positive of fashions with Aine Hoy winning the swim off and Chloe converting, again from a 5m foul, an absolutely stunning lob.

The Hungarians persisted to fight and gained another penalty which Rosie was unable to save and the score was brought back to 2-2.

The whole team defended well for the rest of the quarter, with Frankie Snell individually making sure the Hungarian centre forward knew she was ever-present. Some great counter attack play from Alex, Aine and Vicky Bowen won a well-earned corner and GB threatened again on another counter attack with Aine very unlucky with the ball stopping the wrong side of the line as the half ended all-square.

Q3

Chloe won the third swim off and Angie finally had some luck in centre forward by winning a penalty with a sneaky flick over the centre backs head. But again GB, this time Chloe, couldn’t find the back of the net.

Lisa made a great steal in centre back but sadly the referee disagreed and she found herself on two majors. Szentes converted the man up from a nicely taken bounce shot to take a 3-2 lead.

Some excellent movement from GB in attack and a nice feed into Angie resulted in a man up chance to level but again GB found the woodwork from Fran Clayton's quick shot. The Hungarians extended their lead from a pit goal. and after a few lost balls and unlucky shots from GB, the Hungarians capitalised by converting from the arc for a 5-2 scoreline.

Q4

Robyn Nicholls came in for Rosie as goalkeeper for the final quarter. Hungary won the swim off and Lisa swiftly gained her third and final major.

Frankie was unlucky not to put GB back in the game with her shot going out for a corner but Szentes continued to attack and gained their third penalty of the evening and scored to go 6-2 ahead.

GB continued to fight and after a good feed from Fran to Vicky B,  GB finally made a breakthrough - Claire Nixon converting to bring the score to 6-3.

Szentes replied almost immediately taking the score to 7-3. With a few minutes left on the clock, GB won another major gained with good work from Vicky B after a feed from Ciara. GB continued to press for a goal but Chloe could only find the woodwork.

After a well fought match, the score finished 7 – 3, but GB will take many positives into the next match tomorrow.

For Great Britain's Women's full fixtures and results, click here.

The athletes selected to play for the British Women's Water Polo team, powered by British Gas, are:

Rosie Morris, Robyn Nicholls, Chloe Wilcox, Alex Rutlidge, Frankie Snell, Aine Hoy, Lisa Gibson, Vicky Bowen, Angie Winstanley-Smith, Ciara Gibson, Fran Clayton, Claire Nixon, Ella Chadderton.

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