Great Britain's women slipped to a heavy 37-22 defeat to handball powerhouses Montenegro in their Euro 2012 Group 3 qualifying clash.
Jesper Holmris' side, who took to the court after the draw for the Olympics competition was made at Crystal Palace National Sports Centre, competed well in the first half despite a large number of missed chances and only trailed 14-12 at the break.
But the Montenegrins showed their class after the interval and ran away with it after a string of unanswered goals to qualify for the tournament in Holland later this year while GB have no hope of being there.
And Holmris, whose side were earlier drawn against top-seeds Montenegro at this summer's main event, was disappointed with his side's showing after a good start.
"It was a very good first half for us and it was the best we can play, so that is good," he said.
"But we need more performances like the first half because I am not happy with the second half.
"A few of our key players ran out of steam. But we made too many technical mistakes and teams at this level will punish you.
"On top of that when we created good chances, we missed them. I am unhappy and we would like to do better."
GB were also drawn against Angola, Russia, Croatia and Brazil in Group A of the preliminary stages of the Olympics competition and travel to Russia for their final Euro 2012 qualifying clash on Sunday.