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Sunday, January 10, 2010

GB Show Improvement Against Czech Republic

A STRONG first half performance was the highlight of Great Britain Men’s final match of the Marrane Cup in Paris against the Czech Republic on Sunday.

After a disappointing defeat to Qatar on Saturday, the side upped their game considerably and were just 14-17 down at the break. However, they slumped back into bad habits after half time and ended up losing 22-32.

“It was a better performance than yesterday,” said assistant coach Bill Baillie. “At half time we were in there and wanted to go on and win the match to prove a point.

“But almost inevitably in the first seven minutes of the second half we went from 14-17 to 14-22 because of a number of technical errors, and it was game over really.

“But it’s not all bad news, there were a number of good performances today, especially from all the goalkeepers, with Jesper Parker and Bob White doing well and our under-21 goalkeeper Nicholas Satchwell also coming on for a time and doing well.”

Right back Steven Larsson scored eight goals and was GB’s top scorer, while line players Chris McDermott and Robin Garnham added four and three respectively.

The squad now return to London for a training camp, and will be aiming to get back on form in time for the World Championship qualifying tournament in Finland from January 15-17.

The Marrane Cup has proved to be a useful exercise for the team, with good experience gained of playing varied types of team from different areas of the world which will prove invaluable to both players and staff.

The team have now played 22 games against international and domestic sides under new head coach Dragan Djukic, and many of the players are now in double figures with their international caps.

Hopes are high that the squad will be back to full strength for the trip to Finland, with Gawain Vincent still suffering with a sprained hand after falling awkwardly on it during the Qatar match.

And John Pearce and Mark Hawkins, who have been playing for short periods as they nurse knee sprains, should be 100 per cent in time for the World Championships.

However, squad captain Ciaran Williams is still doubtful with a stress fracture in his foot causing problems.

Pic: Steven Larsson was GB's top scorer against the Czech Republic with eight goals. (Pic: Reiner Worm).

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