Brazier on target again as GB battle with Netherlands

Chelmsford’s Dani Brazier continued her fine goal-scoring form at the Baku 2015 European Games with two fantastic finishes in the 19-6 (0-2, 2-6, 3-8, 1-3) defeat to a tough and aggressive Netherlands on Sunday.

The goals take Brazier’s tournament tally to five and despite the team struggling against a well-established and well-funded Netherlands, there were signs of improvement for head coach Nick Buller ahead of GB’s crunch game against Israel tomorrow.

“We expected a very physical pressing game from the Dutch, so we encouraged the team to attack that and there were periods in the game where we had success,” said GB head coach Nick Buller after the game.

Netherlands, who won the bronze medal at the 2013 European Junior Championship, dominated from the start, but they didn’t have it all their own way as GB defended strongly and goalkeepers Sophie Jackson (Leeds) and Hayley Price (Tyldesley) again produced a number of outstanding saves.

“Scoring six goals was a great achievement and we can definitely build and improve on this result for the future.” – GB coach Nick Buller

There were fierce individual battles all across the pool and in attack, GB were up against a stubborn Netherlands defence who only conceded one goal against Israel in their opening game of the tournament.

Crawley’s Lara Partridge did find a way through in the second quarter with a man-up shot from distance and Brazier hit the net after a magnificent turn in 2m, but it wasn’t enough to stop the Netherlands taking an 8-2 half-time lead.

Team GB continued to work tirelessly in the final two quarters to restrict the Dutch from scoring more and there were celebrations in the third when London Otter’s Kathy Rogers fired in an exquisite long-range lob and Liverpool’s Verity McCoy and Brazier both scored from 2m.

In the fourth, the travelling GB fans were on their feet again when London Otter’s Mhairi Nurthen found the top corner from distance, but it was the Netherlands who ran out comfortable 19-6 winners.

“We knew this game would be difficult, but for us, it’s all about improvement from one game to the next and I’m pleased with how we performed today,” added coach Buller.

“Scoring six goals was a great achievement and we can definitely build and improve on this result for the future.”

After three successive defeats, Great Britain will be determined to record their first victory of the Games tomorrow when they face Israel (11am start UK time), who lost to the Netherlands 29-1 on Friday.

  • Click here to view the match stats on the official Baku 2015 website.

Team GB water polo:

  • Dani Brazier (Chelmsford)
  • Izzy Dean (captain) (London Otter)
  • Hannah Edwards (Menzieshill Whitehall)
  • Sophie Jackson (Leeds)
  • Fleur Kennedy (City of Coventry)
  • Verity McCoy (vice captain) (Liverpool)
  • Mhairi Nurthen (London Otter)
  • Lara Partridge (Crawley)
  • Hayley Price (Tyldesley)
  • Kathy Rogers (London Otter)
  • Grace Rowland (Liverpool)
  • Lucy Shaw (Liverpool)
  • Beth Ward (Devonport Royal)