Day 4 Summary:
Played 7, won 2!
|GB team||Opponents||Score (GB first)|
|GB U21 Women||Germany||3-6 (Semi Final)|
|GB U21 Men||Germany||3-2 (Semi Final)|
|GB U21 Women||New Zealand||3-6 (3/4 playoff)|
|GB U21 Men||France||3-4 (Final)|
The BBC weather folks promised a cloudy morning and sunshine for the afternoon. They got it so right, both on the weather for the day and for GB polo! Your bloggers ended the day rather hoarse, even after lubrication, and very tired. We could all have played in the days highlighted games!
So, to the matches…
GB Women had a day off today, the women’s league continues to a conclusion on Sunday.
GB Men started the proceedings with a very tough game against one of the favourites for the competition, Germany. Two early goals saw Germany take the lead, then a strike back by Jame s Bowers. GB 1-2 at half time. In the second half GB were reduced to 4 men for two minutes, following a yellow against Bowers. The team held on through this period but the Germans continued to apply the pressure, and in the end were just too strong, finishing the game winning 6-1.
A spirited match against Spain, again the men showed good teamwork and resolve. This match looked evenly balanced, and this was reflected in the half time score 1-1. However a couple of break-away goals by Spain in the second half closed the game, which finished 2-4. Both GB goals were scored by Bowers.
The final game of the day for the men saw them playing the hosts Poland. This was a mini goal fest, the final score being 9-7 in favour of GB. A first half hat-trick by Junior plus two other goals (Bowers and Williamson) were countered by Poland. Half time 5-4. Another 4 goals in the second half by GB (Williamson, Longley, Bowers and Robson) offset by three more from Poland gave the final result.
GB U21 Women played the German girls in the first semi-final of the day. Germany took a quick lead, but this was quickly turned round with goals from Nicole Brain and Louise Saxon. Germany, however, were a much bigger and more physical team than GB and restored their lead by half time, leading 4-2 at the break. In the second half the pattern of play continued, and Germany finished winners by 7 goals to 3, GBs final goal being scored by Liz Ponting.
This left GB with the unenviable task of playing in the 3rd / 4th play-off match, were they would meet another strong team, New Zealand.
NZ took the lead early on, and by half time had a 3-0 lead over GB. But a spirited fight back soon after the restart saw the women close in on NZ 3-2 (goals from Beth Barratt). NZ then then showed their resolve and finished 6-3 winners, but only after a closing goal by Saxon.
GB Under 21 Women therefore finished in fourth place, and they can take a lot of credit from the way they kept to their task, and can also take away some encouraging results. Remember, they only lost to the eventual winners in the semi, and to France (our favourites) by 2-1 on the previous day. There could be a lot to come from this young team.
GB U21 men played Germany in the semi-final of the competition. An old nemesis, this would be the hardest challenge for the boys, who were probably several kilos lighter and shorter than their opponents. An early goal by Germany was countered by GB (Robson) but the lead was restored for Germany after 6 minutes, and the half time score was 1-2.
The noise was deafening – German drums, chants of Deutchsland and GB – what an atmosphere!
The second half started, and again, the Germans continued to pile on the pressure. Still 1-2. The crowd (GB part, at least) were feeling the pressure. I’m sure Paul Owen (BCU) was wondering what was happening…. Our young guns were keeping their heads, and continued to play their disciplined game, with a very stout defence, and great goalkeeping kept the Germans at bay. Just over one minute left, and goal to GB two all! A Ross Martin special!
Back came the Germans, and were hoping for extra time, but team GB had other plans. A lot of pressure by Germany was broken up at the back . A quick ball out to Jack Robson, and a pss on toe Ross under the goal – 3-2. Five seconds left! The Germans shot from the half way line, but it was covered by GB, and missed anyway! GB Ecstatic, Germany distraught!
GB in the final – guaranteed medal! PHEW!!!!!!
A footnote – in the other semi, France played NZ. NZ lead for most of the match 1-0, but france equalised in the late stages, and got a penalty in the last seconds. Gutting for NZ.
And so to the final:
The boys were fully focussed in going for gold (this year – that has been the aim for so many GB athletes). GB took an early 2-0 lead, with goals from Pete Neal and Nipper. France clawed one back just before half time.
Again, the crowd was buzzing!
France continued to press – and were rewarded with three more goals, and GB pulling one back through Neal to give a final score of 3-4 to the French.
The lads need to take great credit for their display throughout this tournament, building to the best two games of polo seen (in our opinion) for a few years at this age group. And a silver medal, we’ll take that!
We understand that a lot of people tuned in to the live feed on the website, and were wowed by what they saw. Great TV, we need to get copies of the games if possible.
Don’t forget to check the live feed from the tournament – which is available at:
Could be good stuff tomorrow!
It was going to be one of those GB v Germany days, so I thought it would be wise to hang out with the German mascot, the giant jellybean. Our meeting started amicably, but he got a bit touchy and I had to make a hasty retreat!
The jellybean was later seen being escorted from pitch-side by security at the U21 women’s final…….
Now I did meet a very helpful ref during the week – yes, there are a few – and he gave me the opportunity to check out the pitch and get in on some action. Very cold, but felt quite at home!
Thanks Sean, you’re a mate!
My favourite poses of the day was surely with the U21 Boys at the bar and in with the flowers and silver medals after the final…..and guess who else was on that podium?
GO team GB!!