Great Britain make it two wins from two at the European Championships

Great Britain’s senior women made it two wins from two at the European Water Polo Championships 2024 in Eindhoven after a 19-6 win against Bulgaria.

It was another impressive display from Nick Buller’s side who asserted their dominance in the second period with Toula Falvey netting five on their way to victory.

It’s a result that means Great Britain have guaranteed a top two finish in Group D, so they’ll get the opportunity to reach the quarter finals of the competition on Monday.

Tomorrow’s Group D showdown with Germany will decide if they top the group or finish as runners up as they look to continue their 100% record in the Netherlands.

It took just 29 seconds for Great Britain to open up their account against Bulgaria when City of Manchester’s Brooke Tafazolli’s lobbed shot beat Bulgarian keeper Patrisia Eftimova.

Annie Clapperton then added a second during a ‘man-up’ opportunity mid-way through the first period before Great Britain really began to find their shooting range.

Lily Turner then netted a penalty before setting up Falvey who turned her marker to fire in Britain’s fourth.

Bulgaria had their chances in the opening quarter but could only take one thanks to the performance of Alex Robinson in goal. She excellently saved a penalty with the score at 2-1 to stop Bulgaria drawing level and allow her teammates to extend the advantage at the end of the first quarter.

Vicki Hawkins then lofted a pass into the centre for captain Kathy Rodgers to make it 5-1 at the end of the first period – the same score Britain led after the opening eight minutes yesterday.

‘We can’t wait for the next game’

Despite the score, Great Britain were much more in control during the second period than the first.

They extended their lead to nine by the end of the first half, heading into an 11-2 lead at the interval.

Katy Cutler took control, scoring a hat trick in the second quarter alone. Her second coming off a  quick counter attack after being set up by Robinson to drive through open water and fire past the keeper.

16-year-old Amélie Perkins also grabbed her first goal of the tournament with a penalty whilst Niamh Maloney and a backhand finish gave Falvey her second.

Unlike yesterday, Great Britain continued their dominance in the second half and grew the lead even further.

Cutler got her fourth, Falvey completed her hat trick and Rodgers fired in from distance in the third before Falvey stood out in the final quarter.

She added two more in the closing minutes to take her total to five as Katie Brown, Vicki Hawkins and another from Clapperton completed Great Britain’s scoring.

A pleased Buller told LEN after the match: “We went out to win, we gave it our all from the first second to the last. I was pleased with the performance overall and now all focus goes onto the next game.

“We can’t wait for the game, Germany have a lot more experience than us internationally but we beat them last time. They’ve beaten us a number of times in the last year as well so it’s going to be a great game but we’re all out to win it.”

Great Britain face Germany at 12:30pm GMT in that all important final match in Group D.

All matches at the Championships are free to watch on Eurovision Sport which you can sign up for here.

For live results and the full schedule of the competition you can check out the event website, which contains all the information you need to know about the competition.

Image: European Aquatics