Great Britain 9-7 Czech Republic
Interview with Hannah Wild
Great Britain proudly lifted the LEN European Nations Trophy to vociferous applause having overcome Czech Republic 9-7 in a tight contest.
It was expected to be a close match up between two teams who had rarely put a foot wrong during the whole tournament and they did not disappoint.
Great Britain got off to the best possible start as Angela Winstanley-Smith’s strong work won a penalty which was converted by Hannah Wild.
Wild, intent on winning her bet to score more goals than team mate Hazel Musgrove, then grabbed her second of the game shortly afterwards having been set up by Musgrove.
The Czech’s did not let the deficit faze them, however, as star player Veronika Bartunkova scored two long range goals to ensure her side went into the break level.
Bartunkova, who was voted as Most Valuable Player for the tournament, was then thwarted by the ever-impressive Rosemary Morris in the dying seconds of the first quarter.
It was Greece-based player Bartunkova who then put the Czech’s in front for the first time in the game. She completed her hat-trick with another effort from distance.
Not to be outdone, Wild then grabbed her hat-trick after being set up by Alexandra Rutlidge after patient build up play.
The host nation then went two goals ahead for the second time in the match through Fiona McCann and Winstanley-Smith.
Bartunkova grabbed her fourth, fifth and sixth either side of half time to make it an impressive double hat-trick. The game went into the final eight minutes finely poised at six goals apiece as Winstanley-Smith got her second.
The superior fitness of the British team showed in the end as they put three goals past Martina Chvalova to just one in reply.
Francesca Clayton, Wild and McCann gave their side the win before Aneta Hendrychova got a consolation to show that their side was not totally reliant on Bartunkova.
In the medal ceremony at the end, Great Britain lifted their trophy and Czech Republic and Ukraine were presented with the silver and bronze medals respectively.
Bartunkova took the MVP award, as voted by players of all countries, and Portugal’s Mariana Sarmento finished as top scorer with 27 goals.
photos Janos Schmidt