LEN Women’s European U20 Water Polo B Championships 2009

13 to 20 September 2009 - Naples, Italy

The British Gas Junior Women’s Water Polo team finished in seventh position after facing some of Europe’s best teams in the inaugural championships.

Days 1 to 3

The British Gas team came through the group stage with one win and one loss placing them second in the table. After a strong start in their match against the Netherlands, ending the first half 4-4, the team conceded four goals in the third quarter leaving too much work for the team to do. The match ended with a 10-5 victory going to the Netherlands and Britain still to get a win under their belt.

The team picked themselves up for their next match against Slovakia and were able to dominate all four quarters. They eventually took away the win and the full three points with a score of 10-5.

With the top team in all four groups going straight through to the quarter finals, Britain's next match was against France for one of the four remaining quarter final places .

Days 4 to 5

The British Gas Junior Women’s Water Polo team were successful in their quest to make it to the quarter finals. After taking a win and a loss from their group stage, the team were eager to overcome France  and got off to a strong start. They dominated the first two quarters finding the back of the net 11 times to France’s two. The team finished off the match with a further eight goals and took the win with a score of 19-8 over their French opponents.

Team Manager Debbie Smith was pleased with their performance: “The girls played exceptionally well. They were confident going into the match and it showed in the way they played. If they can play that well tomorrow against Russia, then it will be a good game. We don’t have a game today but the girls will be in training in preparation for tomorrow.”

Days 6 to 8

After coming out of the group stage as runners-up the British team faced strong opposition from Russia who went straight through to the quarter finals after topping their group,

The Brits were dominated by their Russian opponents from the start as they went down two goals in the first two minutes with the first quarter ending 6-3 in Russia’s favour.

Russia took the game away in the third quarter by scoring eight goals to Britain’s two. Despite a strong come-back from the British Gas team in the last eight minutes, the whistle blew for a 24-12 victory to the Russians.

With this defeat the British Gas team were out of medal contention and relegated to play for classification positions five through eight.

Coming up against Spain in their next match the team played well and stayed with their Spanish opponents for the first half, ending level on 5-5. Spain played a better third quarter than the British Gas squad and were able to take an 8-6 lead proving too much for the team to come back from.

The British Gas team found themselves in the 7th-8th position play-off against Serbia on the final day of the competition, a match that turned out to be Britain’s closest.

Level at 9-9 when the final whistle blew, the match went into extra time where each team scored a further goal taking the score to 10-10. A penalty shoot-out was necessary to determine the winner and the British Gas team were able to snatch victory with three goals to Serbia’s two, earning the British Gas team seventh position overall for the tournament.

Great Britain’s quarter final opponents, Russia, went on to claim the gold medal after a 14-12 victory over home side Italy.

1 Russia (RUS)
2 Italy (ITA)
3 Netherlands (NED)
4 Greece (GRE)
5 Hungary (HUN)
6 Spain (ESP)
7 Great Britain (GBR)
8 Serbia (SRB)
9 France (FRA)
10 Portugal (POR)
11 Slovakia (SLK)
12 Ukraine (UKR)

The British Gas Junior Women’s Water Polo team consisted of:
Robyn Nicholls
Jade Smith
Rebecca Benson
Francesca Clayton
Rachel Drabble
Rebecca Kershaw
Victoria Bowen
Lisa Gibson
Hazel Musgrove
Emma Bartlett
Siobhan Hoy
Jennifer Myo
Claire Nixon

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10:08:11 21.09.2009
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