GB women put up a credible performance against the French National Police team in Beauvais the warm up match to the World Championship matches.
Although losing 23 to 13, the team can be pleased with many aspects of the match, especially the defence which was very good throughout. Coach Morten Arvidsson was looking for a strong performance in defence, which would then lead to counter attack possibilities and although the defence was indeed good, the team did not exploit this with the fast breaks, which is normally where they are strong. The team were also looking at breaking the game down into 10 minute blocks, to see if they could increase the spells where they were effective in all areas.
GB started the stronger and quickly took a 3:1 lead over their more experienced opponents but the police team gradually pulled back into the game and at half time were 10 – 6 ahead but this was a good first half, especially the first 20 minutes for GB.
The Second half started badly for GB with lapses in concentration and too many technical errors. GB were also hampered by injuries to Britt Goodwin and Kelsi Fairbrother, which put huge pressure on captain Lynn McCafferty and left back Lenka Kocisova. The French Police pulled away in a strong 20 minute spell where they scored 12 goals to GB's 5. The coach brought back Sarah Hargreaves in goal and she saved 7 out of 11 shots and at one point the French side did not score for 10 minutes. GB finished strongly which was encouraging, only losing the last 10minutes 4:3 which gave a final score of 13 – 23 for the French side. McCafferty led the way with 6 goals, with Kocisova scoring 4 goals.
The team now have one more day of training before facing Luxembourg when they hope that their injury problems will be solved.
In the main event, France suffered a shock defeat to Angola.
Text: Melanie Chowns