Great Britain women's handball coach Jesper Holmris was left counting the cost of a sloppy end to the first half in the 29-20 defeat to Poland in their Euro 2012 Group Three qualifier.
GB, who were beaten 33-20 in Thursday's reverse fixture at Loughborough University, made a bright start and trailed just 7-6 midway through the first half but a poor end to the opening period, with a number of costly misplaced passes, saw Poland pull away to lead 16-8 at the break.
And despite a strong second-half showing, GB they could not claw back the deficit and are now unable to qualify for the tournament in Holland later this year.
"Sunday's performance was much better than in Loughborough," said Holmris.
"Unfortunately we had a bad spell in the last six minutes of the first half even though we were a player up.
"But the second half was very good and very positive. We played very well in attack, and Jane Mayes was fantastic in goal with a 40% save ratio, so she should be very pleased with her performance, and the whole defence too.
"Poland came out at full speed, they desperately wanted to get a result because goal difference could be crucial if they want to qualify for the finals.
"Their first-half performance was the best I've seen them play, and we coped well with it generally."
Holmris' side will use their remaining two group games against Montenegro and Russia in May and June to prepare further for their participation in this summer's Olympics.