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Joanna Wray blogs from the pre-season Water Polo training camp with Germany

The Women’s Water Polo Team, powered by British Gas, are preparing for the start of the upcoming season with a training camp against Germany.

Joanna Wray, World Class Programmes Manager, comments:

This is our first competitive game since the girls had their well deserved rest whilst the Germans are in full preparation for the European Championships in 10 days time. 

Due to the rather cold weather, Szilveszter [Fekete, Women’s Head Coach] picked two teams, both playing three quarters each in a row with just one sub. 

It meant the team had a real endurance game with few breaks and constant pressure.  The first team in the water included Alex Rutlidge, Angie Winstanley-Smith, Chloe Wilcox, Fiona McCann, Frankie Snell, Fran Leighton, Rebecca Kershaw, and Rosie Morris in goal.

Q1: Germany went into hard and scored within the first minute, but then the game settled down with even chances but no goals.  Half way through on a British attack Fiona took a shot from the top to get the girls on the board.  Frankie then took a shot and Becky followed up to snatch the rebound and pass a short ball to Fran L to score.  The team took an exclusion but Becky made a great steal to lead to a counterattack, Chloe put the ball in the net to make it 3-1 to GB.  Germany came back with a goal before the end of the quarter. 

Q2: The Brits were given a man up that Alex scored from the set play, but Germany came back and with their attack they worked it until they shot from the top, 4-3.
The team kept pushing the Germans and maintained control of the game, with good vision, quick swimming and nicely worked plays.  Angie scored twice and Fran once while Germany got two goals to make the score 7-5 and finish the second quarter.

Q3:  Britain continued to dominate the game with some really excellent team work.  Fran finished an attack with a well placed goal while a German attack was also converted, 8-6.  Beckie scored and Frankie did a great lob, quickly followed by another lob by Chloe to end this team’s game at 12-7.

Team two came in consisting of Aine Hoy, Ciara Gibson Byrne, Fran Clayton, Gemma Hadley (our trial athlete), Hazel Musgrove, Lisa Gibson, Vicky Bowen, and Rosie still in goal.
The girls finished the third quarter conceding a goal but ready to come out fighting in the fourth quarter.

Q4: On a British attack Hazel put a good ball in the centre and Vicky won a foul. The man up worked well with Fran converting it and the score was 13-9.  This new team carried on the same great play as the first with good movement of the ball in attack and some well controlled defending.  Fran scored again in the next British attack and Ciara had a few shots closely saved by the goalie.  Hazel also scored to finish the quarter, score ended 15-9.

Q5: Started with the Germans passing the ball around and finishing their attack well. However, their shots weren’t a match for Gemma who scored two goals from outside in quick succession while Rosie made some good saves. Fran unfortunately in a German attack got poked in the eye and the German’s scored.  Not giving in, Fran got back in the water with a rather swollen eye to help GB continue as before.  Ciara finished the match with an excellent goal and the girls won the first match 18-11.
 

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