Spirited Great Britain fall to world champions Netherlands in quarter-finals

Great Britain’s senior women’s historical European Championships run came to an end at the hands of reigning world champions the Netherlands.

A spirited 25-6 defeat means that Great Britain will however return to the pool on Thursday and Saturday in the 5-8 place playoff matches.

Coming off the high of yesterday’s dramatic penalty shootout against Israel, the team have defied expectations in Eindhoven and Great Britain’s Amelie Perkins hopes the teams run through the tournament inspires the next generation.

The 16-year-old Cheltenham centre forward said to LEN after the match: “Obviously the Netherlands are the world champions so we knew it was going to be a hard game but the girls really pushed and fought to the end so we’re quite pleased with that.

“The aim now is to grow the sport in our country and inspire the younger generation as they come through. We want to give them something to aim to and look towards with this team because we never thought we would get this far so we’re really pleased.”

Great Britain battled hard but were always up against it as they took on the world’s best in front of their own fans.

A blistering start with four goals inside the opening four minutes sent the hosts on their way to victory.

Captain Kathy Rodgers got one back with an excellent free throw shot from 6m’s but the Dutch were ruthless going forward, adding three more to surge into a 7-1 lead after the opening period.

A penalty from Lily Turner and nice finish in the centre from young Perkins got GB on the scoresheet in the second but the Dutch took control of the contest to extend their advantage to 12.

Lots still to play for

But Great Britain fought on to keep the Dutch scoring to a minimum, especially in the third period.

They added just three more at the start of the second half with Britain hitting back one of their own as they continued to show the fighting spirit that got them to this stage.

The goal came through a long range effort from Brooke Tafazolli. She fired a lob shot from around 8m’s out to beat Dutch keeper Britt Van Den Dobbelstein.

Lily Turner opened the scoring in the fourth with what was her tenth goal of the tournament before the Dutch hit back with four unanswered strikes as they asserted their dominance.

Perkins then got her second of the match to close out the British scorers but the Dutch had the last laugh, adding three more to give themselves a 25-6 victory.

Despite the defeat Great Britain’s run at the tournament isn’t over as they go into the 5-8 place classification matches where they have the chance to record the nation’s best ever finish at a European Championships.

Not since the inaugural women’s event in 1985 have GB finished in the top six at the competition and just reaching the event has made this team the most successful side in the past decade.

Qualification for next month’s world championships in Doha is also at stake for the British side should they win one of their final two matches.

They’ll be back in action at 4:30pm GMT on Thursday for their next match which you can watch live for free on Eurovision Sport 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 Championships.

Image: European Aquatics