An early start, 6.30 am in the lobby (5.30 in real money). Glenn has forsaken public transport and has reluctantly” accepted a lift in a squad car. George was researching the possibility of buying head torches when we arrived at the pool.
Russia and the GB U21 lads were warming up when we arrived. At least, we think it was them, as the sun had not come up over the horizon. Both teams hadn’t realised they were wearing very similar colours, and eventually Russia changed their buoyancy aids. Eventually winning 11 – 1, the GB lads were good value, working for each other, and attacking with speed and strength.
Next up were the Men, versus Spain. A first half penalty gave Spain the lead, but despite one of the Spaniards getting a red in the second half, GB eventually lost 4 – 3.
Women versus Ireland – a massacre. Half time it was 7 – 0, and finished 14 – 0, with Aimee getting 6 and Pru got 4.
U21 women versus Spain, finished 3 – 3, with GB goals from Beth, Liz and Louise. Unfortunately, the stop clock came into play in this game, GB gave away possession, and Spain scored in the final minutes.
U21 Men v Germany was an ill-tempered affair (some would say competive), with GB missing many opportunities. Jack had to wait ages before being allowed to take a penalty. We finally lost 6 – 5, and at the final whistle Jamie and the German number 4 were locked in admiration for each other!
Women versus Germany, Pru got the ball from the sprint, but had her fingers crushed in the process. We were 2 – 0 up but the Germans responded with the half time score being 2 – 1. Final score was 3 – 4 to the Germans, tempers were higher than temperatures.
U21 Men v Denmark was slightly one sided affair, with GB eventually winning 10 – 1. One poor lad (number 7 for Denmark), had his fingers rapped, uttered a Danish swear word (probably “I hate bacon”) and got a green card.
GB Men v Russia was almost a mirror of the earlier game at under 21 level. This time the men raced away to a 10 – 1 lead by half time, they looked strong, confident and played well together as a team. In the second half, Coach Vessey was heard persuading the team to try new moves only ever practised in training. They certainly confused me! The final result – ( I think) was 12 – 1, but it well could have been 14 – 1. The mens team only had two games today, one near the start, and the other at 17.30. What a long day!
GB ladies and Ladies U 21 both played at the same time, so your boggle eyed reporters had their work cut out. However, the Ladies beat Italy 9 – 2, with 5 goals
to Aimee, 3 to Pru and the other to Grace. The U21 ladies went one better against the Polish Ladies U21 team, beating them 10 – 2. Kind of one sided, don’t you think?
So heading into tomorrows epic adventure, the fun starts again after the sun rises, at 8.40 local time, with the U21 men facing Italy, who fought out a draw against the Germans for their final game today.
I am not too sure of the cross over / play off structure, but the U21 mens team have told me that they have to beat the Italians and Swiss tomorrow to progress in the next cross-over league. However, if they come third in their group, they will again be in a group with Germany. Here, though, is the stinger……..If this happens, the result against the Germans in round one automatically is logged for that league, so the U21 team would start one game down. Again, this needs to be confirmed, but if this is so, then surely the ECA Committee is born of the same European committee that introduced the straight banana directive! Don’t worry, your reporters are on the case, and will update you tomorrow.
Finally, it has been a very hot day (once the sun turned up). So hot that even the Dutch Lion disrobed. One complaint, the sun dial was about 20 minutes slow at 3 o’clock this afternoon, but caught up by 6 this evening. Strange, but true. We will send a photo of the dial tomorrow (we were wondering if it could be used as a shot
clock). Our Spanish is improving, we can now order beer, chips (sometimes crisps) and chips with tomato sauce. And café con lecha, which gets a coffee with milk. Not bad, eh!
Oh and another finally, I have received a request for the squad names, so here goes:
Charlotte Lister; Aimee Robson; Kathryn Grieves; Ellie Bates; Grace Galvin; Chaz Cheung; Zoe Anthony; Pru Blyth. Coach Elan Winter
Kate Mather, Louise Saxon; Cate Mathers; Liz Ponting: Bethan Littlewood; Beth Barratt; Nicole Brain. Coach Paul Brain
Nick Archer; Dan Robson; George Murfin; James Longley; Will Borrett; Martyn Williamson; Ed Feltham. Coaches Alan Vessey and Howie Whitaker
Ross Martin; Ross Montgomery; Pete Neal; Olly Thomson; Jamie Thomson; Jack Robson; Matt Fletcher. Coach George Spittal
Apologies for any wrong spelling!
The GB Spectators