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U19 Men's water polo European qualifiers 2016

Great Britain U19 men secured third place at the water polo European qualifiers 2016 in Antalya yesterday, finishing on a high with an 8-6 victory over Belgium. The team narrowly missed out on a qualification spot the previous evening as they were defeated by a strong Turkish side.

Match reports – European qualifiers 2016

GB v Montenegro

Jordan Elliot fired in an impressive first-half hat-trick against Montenegro, but it wasn’t enough to stop Great Britain ultimately falling to a 21-7 (5-2, 5-2, 6-0, 5-3) opening game defeat.

Captain Aaron Winstanley, Dan Paddon, Ashley Castle and Kameron Powell were the team’s other scorers, while goalkeeper Dylan Green pulled off two magnificent penalty saves.

GB v Turkey

The GB team battled hard against the hosts Turkey on Saturday evening and despite a spirited performance, they will miss out on qualification after a 12-7 (3-1, 2-2, 0-2, 7-2) loss.

Ben Riding opened the scoring for GB in the first quarter, before captain Aaron Winstanley and Dan Paddon both found the target in the second, but it was Turkey who held a slender 5-3 lead at the end of the half.

In the third quarter, GB stepped up a level as Riding slammed home his second goal of the night, and Chris Ray hit the net to level the scores at 5-5. This gave the partisan crowd a real shock going into the final period.

Turkey were rocking and the momentum looked to be with GB as Jordan Elliot fired in twice, but it wasn’t to be as a series of reversals and exclusions allowed the home side to score seven, eventually winning the game 12-7.

GB v Belgium

The GB squad were determined to end the European qualifiers 2016 on a high. They soon showed their intent with a strong start against the Belgians.

Battles were won across the pool as Ashley Castle set the attacking tone with a first-half hat-trick, while captain Aaron Winstanley and Chris Ray also found the net to give GB a 5-3 lead at the end of the second.

It was a lead that GB never gave up as they went on to complete the win, much to the delight of the fantastic travelling support.

In the third, it was Jordan Elliot who fired home to move GB further in front, while two more goals from Castle sealed the 8-6 win.

Undefeated powerhouses Montenegro sealed group victory, whilst Turkey finished second, the teams claiming the two available places at this September’s tournament in Holland.

Great Britain’s U19 water polo European qualifiers 2016 squad in full:

  • Aaron Winstanley (captain) (3)
  • Dan Paddon (vice-captain) (2)
  • Dylan Green
  • Ben Riding (2)
  • Matt Kelly
  • Kameron Powell (1)
  • Matt Madden
  • Joel Leighton
  • Jordan Elliot (6)
  • Ashley Castle (6)
  • Peter Pickford
  • Chris Ray (2)
  • Joe Hazeldine