Game 1 v RUS
Our opening fixture saw our women face a very physical Russia, with many of their line up having recently won the bronze medal at the FINA World Championships in Budapest.
Russia ran out comfortable 25-5 (6-0, 6-0, 5-2, 8-3) winners, with Rosie Huck (2), Kathryn Fowler, Katie Hesketh and Laura Hesketh managing to find a way through their stubborn defence.
Despite the results, both teams fought hard throughout and put in strong performances.
Lessons were learnt and a lot to work on in training tomorrow before Sunday’s matches, when the men take on Korea and our women face Hungary.
Game 2 v HUN
Our GB women faced a strong and powerful Hungary side, who stormed to 28-3 (8-1, 6-1, 6-1, 8-0) victory.
Kathryn Fowler, Isobel Howe and Katie Hesketh were our only scorers against a very experienced team who are likely to finish on the podium here.
Next up our GB women face Japan on Tuesday.
Game 3 v JPN
Great Britain’s senior women put on a battling display against Japan in their third Group A match here at the World University Games on Tuesday.
A vastly experienced Japan side, who are aiming for success at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, proved to be another tough opponent for GB as they ran out 18-4 (4-1, 4-1, 3-1, 7-1) winners.
Isobel Howe, Katie Hesketh (2) and Kathryn Fowler were our scorers and despite the results not doing our performances justice so far, it’s clear the squad’s teamwork and overall play is improving with every match.
Confidence is still high as our attention now turns to GB’s penultimate preliminary game against New Zealand on Thursday, 3.20am start (UK time), with both teams looking to secure their first victory of the tournament.
Game 4 v NZL
Great Britain’s senior women tied 9-9 (3-3, 3-0, 2-3, 1-3) with New Zealand on Thursday at the World University Games.
GB looked the better side as they built up a 6-3 lead, but New Zealand refused to lie down and responded strongly in the final stages.
With just six seconds remaining, New Zealand dramatically levelled the match to deny GB what would have been a fantastic victory.
Isobel Howe (2), captain Katie Hesketh (3), Rosie Huck (2), Brooke Tafazolli and Kathryn Fowler were GB’s scorers, who now face Canada in their final preliminary match on Friday.
Game 5 v CAN
Great Britain’s senior women finished the preliminary stage with a 24-5 (5-1, 4-3, 6-1, 9-0) defeat to Canada.
Captain Katie Hesketh continued her fine form in front of goal with a first-half hat-trick to take her tournament tally to 10, while Rosie Huck and Isobel Howe were also on target.
Our women finished 5th in Group A and will now contest the 9th-12th classification semi-finals on Saturday.
Game 6 v ARG
Great Britain’s senior women have beaten Argentina 7-4 (2-0, 3-1, 1-2, 1-1) in the 9th-12th semi-finals of the World University Games in Taipei.
A fantastic first-half performance saw GB race into a deserved 5-1 lead with goals from Brooke Tafazolli (2), Katie Hesketh (2) and Laura Hesketh doing the damage.
In the third quarter, captain Katie Hesketh fired in a penalty to complete her third consecutive hat-trick as GB went into the final period 6-3 ahead.
Argentina reduced the deficit to 6-4 with 5.20 remaining, but GB always looked in control, defending strongly and creating the better chances in attack.
Goalkeeper Kate Read was also on sensational form throughout the match, saving 12 from 16 shots.
Laura Hesketh added GB’s seventh to complete the 7-4 victory, which sets up a 9th/10th place clash with Greece on Monday.
Game 7 v GRE
Great Britain’s senior women finished their World University Games campaign in style on Monday with an outstanding performance against Greece.
After a thrilling 7-7 (0-2, 4-3, 2-1, 1-1) tie, a penalty shootout was needed to separate the two teams and Great Britain were unfortunate to lose out 4-3.
For GB to finish alongside the world’s top 10 and narrowly miss out on 9th is a fantastic achievement and a massive congratulations to all the players and coaches.
GB’s scorers against Greece in regulation time were Emma Bartlett (2), Lauren Tasker, Katie Hesketh, Rosie Huck, Brooke Tafazolli and Kathryn Fowler.
GB team in full: Kate Read, Lauren Tasker, Megan Clarke, Isobel Howe, Katie Hesketh, Laura Hesketh, Rosie Huck, Brooke Tafazolli, Lucy Aspinall, Courtney Dean, Emma Bartlett, Kathyrn Fowler & Carlotta Jackson-Clark. Head coach: Theo Nousios, Assistant coach: Chloe Wilcox & Team manager: Fliss Leighton.
Finally, a massive thanks to the large support here in Taipei and back home. It was fantastic to see so many GB flags on the poolside and read all your messages of support.
Huge thanks also to TM Fliss for her excellent comms and photos from Taipei, and to @GBWomenWP for today’s images. Go Team GB!
University water polo competitions in the UK are provided by 2 organisations...
June was another busy month. The flagship event was of course the British Water Polo Championships, which took place over the weekend 18/19 June. The venue was the spectacular outdoor Sandford Parks Lido, Cheltenham. Unfortunately the weather wasn’t kind throughout, but it takes more than a bit of rain to dampen the enthusiasm for such a great event! There were 6 teams in each of the men’s and women’s events together with a band of hardy supporters.