Great Britain seal European qualification against Ukraine
24th September 2011
The British Gas GBR Women’s Water Polo teamed secured their place at the 2012 European Championships with a rousing victory over Ukraine at Manchester Aquatics Centre.
Captain Angie Winstanley-Smith scored six as the British team won 21-8 and booked their place at January’s finals in Eindhoven where they will become the first British team to compete at the European showpiece since 1997.
We did the job and everyone in the changing rooms is buzzing.
The Brits were favourites to progress having beaten Ukraine 11-7 in the reverse leg in Kharkov in March and showed few signs of suffering an upset as eight of their 11 outfield players found the net.
And Winstanley-Smith admitted competing against the likes of World Championship silver medallists China and Canada en route to bronze at last weekend’s Four Nations Invitational had left them in perfect shape for their Eastern European visitors.
“It’s always great to play the best teams in the world like China, Canada and Germany,” said the British centre forward, standing in as captain for the injured Fran Leighton. “So to play those four games on home territory was brilliant preparation. It was perfect.
“Ukraine probably aren’t at the same level as those teams so we were really prepared technically and tactically.
“At the end of the day, we still had a job to do today and that was to get the points in the bag to qualify for Eindhoven.
“Obviously we did the job and everyone in the changing rooms is buzzing.”
Frankie Snell added four goals for the Brits, Vicky Bowen scored a hat-trick while there were doubles for Chloe Wilcox, Ciara Gibson-Byrne and Fran Clayton and single efforts for Aine Hoy and Rachel Drabble.
We're going to relax for a few days then the hard work starts for January then London 2012.
And after winning all four quarters of the match, head coach Szilveszter Fekete insisted he was impressed with his side’s performance at both ends of the pool.
“I’m very happy,” said Fekete. “We played well tonight both in defence and attack.
“We’re now automatically through to the European finals which is a historical moment for the team to play in the top eight.
“Last weekend we beat Germany twice who are currently ranked seventh in Europe so we’re looking forward to the competition.
“We’re now going to relax for a few days and then the hard work starts for January and then London 2012.”
Great Britain 21- 8 Ukraine
|Rosie Morris (gk)||Zhanna Medvedieva|
|Chloe Wilcox||2||Valeriia Shyian||1|
|Ciara Gibson-Byrne||2||Anastasiia Kotova||3|
|Frankie Snell||4||Anna Khomchik||1|
|Alex Rutlidge||Kateryna Degtyarova|
|Beckie Kershaw||Zhaklin Kolochkina|
|Aine Hoy||1||Liubov Netikova|
|Hazel Musgrove||Kseniya Kurvicheva||3|
|Vicky Bowen||3||Mariia Bondarenko|
|Angie Winstanley-Smith (c)||6||Anna Goncharenko|
|Fran Clayton||2||Olga Shvedova|
|Rachel Drabble||1||Karyna Shevchenko|
|Robyn Nicholls (gk)|