Sweltering at 32 degrees....
'woe, woe and thrice woe' - a touch of Shakespeare to start our educational blog today!
Woe 1... We, the hard pressed supporters, were actually charged to get into the venue today, 3 euros!! - unheard of!!
Woe 2... Our plucky U21 girls, who have been such a tonic to have around, struggled in their early morning semi against Poland. Two early goals from Rhian set the first half pace with the team chasing everything, communicating well (2-1 GB) The second half saw Poland move up a gear putting four more goals away, final score Poland 5, GB 3.
[Girls getting ready for their Semi]
The girls then braced themselves for a 3/4 playoff against France which - as usual - was a 'bit of a mare'. Hanging on in the first half with goals from Holly and Jamie we were 3-2 down at half time, but then France romped home to the bronze medal - 10-4 at full time. Heads up girls, you and the coaches have had a great championships and proved worthy tough competitors.
Woe 3... Our young 'bucks', the U21 men, also in a semi final early morning against France. This well organised fit squad kept their heads and took on the task in a clinical fashion, two goals from Ren and one from Nathan put us in a 3-2 lead at half time, but - such woe - the French powered back with three amazing goals in the second half to finish 3-5.
The lads went into their 3/4 playoff against Germany in blistering heat. We had an early penalty and then held them for most of the first half, Germany equalised within 1 minute before half time. The second half was a really tight battle, but with two and half minutes to go Ren put GB in the lead (yahoo!). Some how luck was with the Germans, and they slotted in an equaliser and then a winner before time.
So, so hard after such a brilliant championships, supporters gutted.
The men had just one match for 9/10 place against Sweden - quite normal! Same happened last year at the worlds - and we lost!! But... today GB men sparkled like the water, rejoiced in the sunshine and decided to send coach Adrian off with a good feeling about this weird game of basketball on water!
[Men attack Sweden]
[Men's coach Adrian a bit happier!]
Goals rained in from Joey, Olly, Matt, Dan, Gallin and Ross... Sweden looked completely at a loss for ideas, and our men stuck the smiles back on all their bronzed faces! (9-0!)
The women had to play the second leg of their 5/6 playoff... 'Czech Rep revisited'! (First round won 6-2) This time they decided to set themselves a bit of a challenge, and went down 3-1 by half time. Some sort of team magic was shared at the team talk and the GB girls bounced back to 'normal service' in the second half sticking seven more goals in. Final score 8-5 winners, claiming 5th place.
Afterwards, when all our matches had finished we learnt;
- Jamie Thomson got chucked in the pond by the grateful girls!?
- Coach Adrian gracefully received his painting from the chaps (Hungary vs. GB!), who then headed for the nearest restaurant
- Nicole decided to sell her boat... Any offers?
- The young 'bucks' pulled themselves together to put their minds on a good party, and then address plans for the Autumn
Well done GB! You have been solid entertainers over the past few days. Every team that set up to play you, knew that they had a tough game on.
So the weary, burnt supporters slithered off home to cooler climes, and their Google maps to locate Siracusa for the Worlds!
Happy memories - go GB!
1 Germany, 2 Italy, 3 France, 4 Denmark (GB 9)
1 Germany, 2 France, 3 Netherlands, 4 Switzerland (GB 5)
1 France, 2 Denmark, 3 Germany, 4 GB
1 Germany, 2 Poland, 3 France, 4 GB
[Dedicated Matt Blackmore]