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Hungary for success: women’s GB team FINA Super Cup blog

The 16-strong British women’s water polo team are battling for a place in the Super Final of the FINA Women’s Water Polo World League in Budapest, Hungary between 9th to 13th June. Blogging from the event is Water Polo World Class Programmes Manager Joanna Wray. First up for GB was Italy.

The games opened with Russia versus Germany and Russia dominating winning 22-10. Next up was Great Britiain taking on Italy.

Q1

Chloe Wilcox won the swim off to start the game and we were off.  Our team looked strong and confident and on our second attack Angie Winstanley-Smith scored from the pit: 1-0 to GB. 

Angie and Fran Leighton did well in the pit working well together with Angie’s great awareness of when Fran drives. Another goal from Angie in the pit made it 2-0 to GB, as they kept Italians attacks low by holding a strong defence and with good blocks and movement between players. 

However, near the end of the quarter the Italians got through our defense to score finishing 2-1 to GB.

Q2

GB continued to play well both in defence and attack. A strong defence with a good block from Angie led to a quick counter attack by Beckie Kershaw, who stepped twice in front of the goalie to score. 

Our man down was well organised and the Italians just couldn’t score. The whole team covered and worked well together.  On our next attack a good drive into the pit by Angie drew an exclusion and a goal by Angie. Two goals from four man ups so far, a much better percentage compared with the girls' last games in Germany.

Finally the Italians managed to score a goal at the end of the quarter. Half time score: 4-2 to GB.
 

Q3

The team came out full of confidence with a two goal difference and continued where they left off. 

GB’s defence was excellent with everyone dropping back to help cover the pit when needed.  Italy then scored from open play to get a goal back and then quickly scored off a counter-attack levelling the match.

However, GB were not deterred and Fran Leighton and Hazel scored off our net two man-ups.  With Italy getting another goal this quarter we finished 6-5 up going into the final quarter. The game was on.

Q4

The quarter started with a yellow card for the Italian coach but their team responded by lobbing Rosie to score. We were level.  We got a double man up but the Italians just lined the goal line to block our attempts.  An attack by GB meant Angie drew an exclusion from the Italians and a nice one-two with Chloe gave GB another goal. We were ahead again.

Three majors by Fiona McCann meant she was rapped for the rest of the match. But with only one minute to go we just needed to keep our defence strong.  And we did. The game finished 8-7 to GB. What a match! Well done GB.

Statistics

Scorers: Angie: 4, Beckie Kershaw: 1, Fran  Leighton: 1, Rachel Drabble: 1, Chloe: 1
Shots on goal: 8/18
Steals: 4
Penalties conceded: 1
Man ups: 5/10
Man downs: 1/8

GB Team

Rosemary Morris (City of Liverpool), Robyn Nicholls (City of Manchester), Frances Leighton (City of Sheffield), Chloe Wilcox (City of Manchester), Hazel Musgrove (City of Liverpool), Francesca Clayton (City of Liverpool), Lisa Gibson (City of Manchester), Angela Winstanley-Smith (City of Manchester), Fiona McCann  (City of Liverpool), Alexandra Rutlidge (City of Manchester), Rachel Drabble (City of Liverpool), Rebecca Kershaw (City of Manchester), Francesca Snell (West London Penguins), Victoria Bowen (City of Sheffield), Jade Smith (City of Manchester), Aine Hoy (City of Manchester)

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