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GB women's water polo campaign is over

August 9, 2012 16:37 pm

Great Britain lost their final game in the women's water polo competition to finish in last place.

Their 11-7 defeat to Italy in the play-off for seventh position means Team GB pick up the wooden spoon in the eight-team tournament. Six losses from six matches - against Australia, Spain, Russia twice and Italy twice - put to bed any chances of a better outcome.

A bright start to Thursday's game gave the home crowd something to cheer about as Beckie Kershaw opened the scoring.

Italy blasted home a penalty to draw level, before Fiona McCann lobbed the Italian goalkeeper for Team GB's second. Francesca Clayton extended the lead to two goals, but Italy fired in a back-shot from the centre-forward position before the end of the first period.

A disappointing second quarter for Great Britain saw their opponents score four unanswered goals to forge a three-goal lead going into the half-time break.

Team GB did have chances but their long-distance shots went wide or were saved, and they failed to capitalise on a man-up opportunity.

McCann netted again within 30 seconds of the restart to reduce the deficit to two goals before Italy sent in two long-distance strikes. Alex Rutlidge scored with 90 seconds remaining in the quarter, before conceding a penalty shortly after to gift Italy a goal from the five-metre penalty line and take the score to 9-5 with one quarter left.

Goals from Ciara Gibson-Byrne and Clayton cut the margin to two and gave Team GB hope of a dramatic reversal.

However, Italy scored twice themselves to earn a comfortable four-goal win, and seventh place overall.

Tania di Mario netted four for Italy, while Giulia Emmolo scored a hat-trick. Captain Elisa Casanova, Aniko Pelle, Giulia Rambaldi and Teresa Frassinetti scored one each.

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