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Saturday, September 25, 2010

GB Ready for Italy Challenge

BOTH Great Britain and Italy will go into their Four Nations Tournament clash this afternoon looking for their first wins in the competition at the Echo Arena in Liverpool.

The British players arrived in the arena to see Portugal beat Switzerland 26-17 to win the trophy and will want to ensure that they do not leave their own tournament without any points.

GB started their campaign with a narrow 22-23 defeat against Portugal on Thursday night and followed this up with a 18-20 loss at the hands of the Swiss last night.

GB Head Coach Jesper Holmris had asked his side for a quick start out of the blocks following their sluggish start against Portugal and he got that against the Swiss, but a lack of goals scored has proved to be GB’s undoing in this tournament so far and they find themselves the lowest scorers in the tournament so far.

Defensively, GB have been impressive with their central core of goalkeeper Sarah Hargreaves, pivot Lyn Byl and captain and centre-back Lynn McCafferty proving a tough test for all who have faced them.

Opponents Italy had conceded the most goals going into this final day of the tournament but boasted the tournament top scorer Silvia Scamperle with 18 goals who only needs a further four goals to cement this, overtaking Portugal’s Claudia Correia on 21 who has played her final game here following her sides' victory earlier on today.

Italy lost 32-26 against Switzerland on the opening afternoon on Thursday and then again 27-26 on the final buzzer against tournament winners Portugal yesterday afternoon so will also be looking for that elusive win.

GB will be wary of Scamperle and her teammate Carmen Onnis who both pose a threat up front, but they will be keen to put on a show in front of their home crowd and leave Liverpool on winning form ahead of their World Championship qualifiers coming up in Poland against Slovakia, Cyprus and their hosts.

GB Head Coach Jesper Holmris said: “Most of all we are looking to have another competitive game [against the Italians], which is the goal of this whole tournament for us.

“We’ve been very lucky to invite three teams who are all very close to each other in standard which is the whole point of this tournament.

“It’s possible to win today and I’ll think we’ll have another close game.”

Preview by Andrew McSteen

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