As the preparations for this summer’s World University Games continue, our Great Britain men’s team flew out to Portugal July 21-23 to compete in the 2017 Loule International Water Polo Tournament.
In the Algarve, GB faced the hosts Portugal, Belgium and the Philippines.
Full pics and GBR match sheets from the tournament are available on the Water Polo England Flickr account with thanks to Vicki Hawkins and Federação Portuguesa de Natação.
Game 1 v POR
Great Britain started the Loule International Water Polo Tournament with a 16-9 (2-3; 5-3; 4-2; 5-1)
loss to Portugal.
In red hot conditions, GB matched the hosts for nearly three quarters, before a series of unforced errors were punished in the final stages.
Despite the result, the GB players and coaches are confident of performing better and improving as the tournament progresses.
Next up for GB are Belgium, Saturday morning, 10am start, as our preparations for the World University Games continue.
Scorers for GB versus Portugal: Aaron Winstanley (3), Dan Paddon (1), Jordan Elliot (1), Joel Leighton (1), Ben Tinkler-Davies (1), Morgan Hirsch (1) & Addison Brown (1).
Game 2 v Belgium
Great Britain edged a tight battle with Belgium 8-7 (2-2, 1-3, 3-1, 2-1) in their second match at the Loule International Water Polo Tournament on Saturday morning.
The result was the perfect response to last night’s defeat to Portugal, but GB were forced to dig deep and come from behind to claim the victory.
A bright start from the young Belgians put them 5-3 ahead at half-time, before GB started moving through the gears and a number of counter attacks swung the match in their favour.
Dan Paddon topped scored for GB with three, while goalkeeper Peter Pickford made some vital saves late on to ensure there was no way back for Belgium.
GB’s final preliminary match is against the Philippines, 6pm start on Saturday evening.
Great Britain team and scorers versus Belgium: Jack Simcox, Dan Paddon (3), Aaron Winstanley (2), Elliot Kelly, Graham Harrington, Jordan Elliot (1), Lewis Daly, Joel Leighton, Ben Tinkler-Davies, Morgan Hirsch (2), Tom Grieve, Addison Brown & Peter Pickford. Coach: Tim Dunsbee
Game 3 v Philippines
Great Britain will contest the gold-medal match at the Loule International Water Polo Tournament after an impressive 13-4 (2-1, 4-2, 4-0, 3-1) victory over the Philippines on Saturday.
GB booked their place in the final in emphatic fashion with a ruthless performance that saw them race into a 6-3 lead by the end of the first half.
There were strong individual showings from Aaron Winstanley and Dan Paddon, who fired in four goals each, while centre-forward Jordan Elliot scored three.
Left-hander Lewis Daly and Morgan Hirsch were also on the scoresheet, but it was a fine third-quarter display by GB which impressed the crowd the most.
Four unanswered goals ensured GB finished the day with two wins from two and now the hosts Portugal await in Sunday’s final, 11.30am start.
Great Britain team and scorers versus the Philippines: Jack Simcox, Dan Paddon (4), Aaron Winstanley (4), Elliot Kelly, Graham Harrington, Jordan Elliot (3), Lewis Daly (1), Joel Leighton, Ben Tinkler-Davies, Morgan Hirsch (1), Tom Grieve, Addison Brown & Peter Pickford. Coach: Tim Dunsbee
FINAL v POR
Great Britain have finished runners-up here at the Loule International Water Polo Tournament after a narrow 7-5 (2-0, 2-1, 1-3, 2-1) defeat to Portugal.
The result was a big improvement on Friday’s 16-9 loss to the hosts, but with GB trailing 4-1 after two quarters, they needed a huge second-half performance to turn this final around.
GB were in no mood to lie down, though, and responded strongly through Ben Tinkler-Davies, Aaron Winstanley and Graham Harrington to make it 5-4 at the end of the third and set up a thrilling final eight minutes.
With the home crowd starting to fear a GB comeback, their nerves were eased by two quick goals and despite Winstanley firing in a late penalty, Portugal held on to claim the gold medal and lift the Loule International trophy.
Great Britain team and scorers versus Portugal: Jack Simcox, Dan Paddon (1), Aaron Winstanley (2), Elliot Kelly, Graham Harrington (1), Jordan Elliot, Lewis Daly, Joel Leighton, Ben Tinkler-Davies (1), Morgan Hirsch, Tom Grieve, Addison Brown & Peter Pickford. Head coach: Tim Dunsbee, Team Manager: Dave King & Sport Scientist: Ross Fowles.
University water polo competitions in the UK are provided by 2 organisations...
After Great Britain men finished their 2019 FISU Summer Universiade campaign in Naples with a victory over South Korea, we spoke to head coach Tim Dunsbee to get his thoughts on the overall tournament and the future of the national team.