Great Britain’s 2017 European Junior Water Polo Championship campaign came to an end with defeat to Italy in Novi Sad, Serbia.
Competing in their seventh match of the tournament, Nick Hume’s side lost out 16-5 (4-1, 5-2, 3-2, 4-0) to the Italians.
The result means the British women finish sixth overall at the U17 Championships in Serbia – a jump of three places from last year’s U19 event in the Netherlands.
Italy have long been one of the top six women’s water polo nations in Europe, and started the stronger of the two teams, scoring the first two goals of the game.
On their way to their sixth place finish the team defeated Serbia in a dramatic penalty shoot-out.
Nick Hume’s side won 4-2 on penalties after the scores were tied at 6-6 (1-0, 3-2, 1-2, 1-2) after four quarters.
Milly Wordley, Molly Boniface-Ashton, Lily Turner and Katy Cutler scored the four penalties for GB, while Sophie Jackson saved Serbia’s final effort.
The Brits will now face Italy for fifth place at the Championships, being held in the Serbia town of Novi Sad.
The result also hands the British women sweet revenge for a defeat in the first knock-out round at last year’s European U19 Championships.
In the early stages of the competition, Great Britain’s U17 women saw off Slovakia to reach the quarter finals.
The Brits won the first and third quarters as they beat Slovakia for the second year running with an 8-7 (2-1, 1-1, 4-2, 1-3) victory.
The win sets up a mouth-watering last eight with Group C winners Hungary.
The British girls were arguably underdogs against Slovakia. They had finished third in their group compared to their opponents’ second place in Group B.
There had been little to choose between the two sides when they met at last year’s European Junior Championships, with Annie Clapperton scoring a last gasp winner in the group stages.
But while Slovakia came into the game with two wins from three in Serbia, the Brits looked the stronger side throughout.
British team at the 2017 European Junior Water Polo Championships
- Sophie Jackson (City of Leeds)
- Annie Clapperton (City of Manchester)
- Emily Pyper (Woolton SC)
- Lily Turner (Crawley SC)
- Steph Whittaker (City of Manchester)
- Molly Boniface-Ashton (City of Liverpool)
- Katy Cutler (Salisbury Stingrays ASC)
- Amy Potter (City of Bristol SC)
- Emmie-Rose Eastwood (City of Manchester)
- Robyn Greenslade (Paignton SC)
- Lauren Dundee (Stirling)
- Milly Wordley (Exeter Water Polo)
- Niamh Campbell-O’Donnell (City of Manchester)