GBR narrowly defeated by Greece

16 Jul 2014

The British Gas GBR Women’s Water Polo team narrowly lost 7-9 to Greece in the opening match of the LEN European Water Polo Championships in Budapest.

Greece, who won silver at the last two European Championships, opened the scoring early on and continued to have the upper hand throughout the first quarter.

Despite their opponents having the majority of play until the break, Great Britain’s defence was world class and, along with a penalty converted by Ciara Gibson-Byrne, kept the match within reach at 1-2.

The second and third quarters remained close with goals from Chloe Wilcox, Angie Winstanley-Smith, Hazel Musgrove and Ciara Gibson-Byrne.

GBR took the lead for the first time in the third quarter after a long ball found Gibson-Byrne on the counter attack and went one-on-one with the goal keeper to level the score at 6-6 going into the final quarter.

Two quick goals from Greece put the British team on the back foot as their opponents pulled ahead 6-8 within the first minute of the fourth.

"We tried hard and I’m proud of how we worked in defence" 

- Kostas Vamvakaris, Coach

A frustrating final two minutes in front of the Greek goal in which the British team were unable to capitalise on two man ups left the final score 7-9 (1-2, 3-2, 2-2, 1-3) to Greece.

Head Coach Kostas Vamvakaris said: “We knew this match would be tough as Greece are a more experienced team.

"We tried hard and I’m proud of how we worked in defence, especially over three quarters where we kept the score level. It is unfortunate that we made a mistake and lost our concentration in the final quarter which led to the defeat.

“Between now and the next match on Friday we will work together as a team to move on from this result and focus on facing the Netherlands.”

The team play the Netherlands at 13:30 BST on Friday 18 July in their second match of the tournament.

GBR goalscorers: Ciara Gibson-Byrne (3); Chloe Wilcox (2); Angie Winstanley-Smith; Hazel Musgrove