Brits secure second win to end Baku 2015 on a high

Team GB secured 11th place at the Baku 2015 European Games with a comprehensive win over Israel.

With both teams competing in their seventh match in as many days, the British women bagged their second victory over Israel of the competition with a 10-5 (1-3, 2-1, 3-0, 4-1) win.

“We’ve learned a lot from being here, especially how to deal with pressure and that’s going to be hugely beneficial going forward,” – Nick Buller.

Dani Brazier scored four, Grace Rowland and Lucy Shaw bagged hat-tricks and goalkeeper Hayley Price marshalled a third quarter shut-out for the British women who showed plenty of courage to bounce back from yesterday’s demoralising playoff defeat to Serbia.

“We’re pleased with today’s result as we saw how well Israel played the day before [losing on penalties against France] and how well they came back strongly in our first game, so we knew it was always going to be tough,” said head coach Nick Buller.

“It’s been fantastic for the girls to get this multi-sport experience. I think we’ve enjoyed and made the most of every moment. We’ve learned a lot from being here, especially how to deal with pressure and that’s going to be hugely beneficial going forward.

“We’ve shown we can score top goals against the top teams and the score differentials have been far less than in the past, so that’s a real positive. We’ve got plenty to build on in the future.”

Israel had been no pushover in the Brits’ 13-9 group stage win, and they were the sharper of the two teams in the opening stages, recovering from Rowland’s first goal to establish a 3-1 lead at the first break.

Brazier struck back early in the second quarter but the two sides could only trade a penalty apiece for the rest of the period as Israel kept their noses in front at the half-way stage.

Team GB found the rhythm in the third quarter, impressing at both ends as they wrestled momentum.

Brazier converted Rowland’s cross to level proceedings early on before Shaw put home from captain Izzy Dean’s pass to edge GB back in front and Rowland scored on the counter after Price’s quick pass to complete her third hat-trick of the competition and give the Brits some breathing room at 6-4.

It was more of the same as the Brits pulled clear in the final quarter with doubles from Shaw and Brazier, the latter’s fourth goal tying her with Rowland as British top-scorer in Baku with 11 goals.

  •  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)