Perfect preparation as Great Britain's senior women lift Danube Cup

Great Britain’s senior women rounded out their preparation for next month’s European Water Polo Championships by retaining the Danube Cup in Szentes, Hungary.

The squad of 16 players won four and suffered one defeat on penalties to top the standings with 13 points.

The competition of six teams included four nations that are a part of the tournament in January as well as hosts Szentes and Hungarian club side Dunaújvárosi FVE (DFVE).

Two of those in Germany and Slovakia are part of Great Britain’s group for the European Championships giving the team the best possible preparation for their trip to Eindhoven.

Their road to the title – which they previously won in June –  started with a 20-15 win in the opening match against Szentes.

An impressive first half display saw GB lead 10-4 after two quarters thanks to braces from Amelie Perkins, Lily Turner, Annie Clapperton and Katy Cutler.

Kathy Rodgers also got on the scoresheet to end the second quarter before she completed her hat trick as Great Britain comfortably saw out the match up.

Clapperton, Cutler and Turner also got their third as Perkins netted five in total to fire Great Britain to three points.

They followed that up with a 12-9 victory against European Championship opponents Germany to round out the opening day.

A fast start was once again key to Great Britain’s victory with Lily Turner’s five strikes putting the game beyond reach for the Germans.

An 8-4 lead at the interval allowed GB to manage the game expertly from there on out with the goals spread across the squad.

Milly Wordley got two with Perkins, Rodgers, Cutler, Izzy Howe and Brooke Tafazolli completing the scoring.

Successful preparation

A hard fought victory against Serbia to start day two saw them make it three wins from three.

Nick Buller’s squad came back from 1-3 down at the end of the opening quarter to come away with a 9-7 victory.

Goalkeeper Sophie Jackson was the star of the show, saving two penalties which sent her on the way to winning the tournament’s top goalkeeper award.

Her performance helped Great Britain turn the game on it’s head in the third period moving in to a 7-6 lead before late strikes from Perkins and Lotte Van Wingerden sealed the game for GB.

A dramatic penalty shootout then saw Great Britain’s only loss after a competitive match against DFVE.

The Hungarian side pulled three goals clear in the second quarter but Great Britain fought back to bring the game level at 15-15 at full time thanks to Cutler’s penalty with just 46 seconds to go.

That meant the match was decided on penalties which unfortunately finished 6-5 in favour of the Hungarian side – giving them a 21-10 win.

DFVE were however beaten by Serbia to start the final day, meaning that victory for Great Britain against Slovakia would see them lift the trophy once again.

And the team responded, bouncing back to end an excellent tournament with an impressive 11-4 win.

Great Britain controlled the game from the off and conceded just once in the first three quarters as they strolled to victory.

Vicki Hawkins top scored in the match with four whilst Howe added to more to her tally to wrap up the competition in Szentes.

Rodgers, Perkins, Cutler, Amelia Peters and Katie Brown née Hesketh all got on the scoresheet in another strong display.

DFVE ended in second place on 11 points – just two behind Great Britain – with hosts Szentes in third on nine. You can find all the match sheets and the final table on the Danube Water Polo League Facebook page.

Great Britain’s senior women’s European Championships campaign gets underway in Eindhoven on Friday 5 January where they have been drawn in Group D alongside Germany, Slovakia and Bulgaria.

Great Britain’s senior women’s squad at the Danube Cup in Szentes

  • Katie Brown née Hesketh
  • Annie Clapperton (vice captain)
  • Katy Cutler
  • Toula Falvey
  • Vicki Hawkins
  • Izzy Howe
  • Sophie Jackson
  • Niamh Moloney
  • Alex Robinson
  • Amelia Peters
  • Amelie Perkins
  • Kathy Rogers (captain)
  • Brooke Tafazolli
  • Lily Turner
  • Lotte Van Wingerden
  • Milly Wordley
  • Nick Buller, head coach,
  • Peggy Etiebet, assistant coach
  • Rose Younger, team manager