Battling Britain beaten by Serbia

26 July 2012 / 20:24

Great Britain men's handball team concluded their Olympic Games preparations with a spirited performance in a 41-18 defeat to Serbia in the Copper Box.

Team GB, who open their maiden campaign at the Games against reigning gold medallists France on Sunday, almost matched their eastern European opponents for shots on goal, but a conversion rate of just 35% was never going to be good enough in comparison to Serbia's 75%.

Serbia are expected to be in contention for a medal in two weeks' time and bossed the first half, leading 19-7 at the interval.

However, Team GB, coached by Serbian Dragan Djukic, showed more conviction in the early stages of the second period and cut their deficit with a mixture of fast breaks and clever build-up play.

But they ran out of steam, allowing the Serbians to finish strongly and they opened the gap up as they cruised to a comfortable 23-point winning margin.

Djukic will take positives from their second-half showing and, although the scoreline suggests differently, it was a much-improved performance from Tuesday's 44-21 defeat to Hungary.

However, they will still enter Sunday's clash against France with trepidation.

The women's side will play Team GB's first-ever handball game at the Olympics when they begin their Group A campaign against Montenegro on Saturday evening.