Match Report

Great Britain (W) vs Germany

Great Britain Women defeated Germany for the second time in an intense semi-final.

Helen Freeman stole the show once again, showing her creative prowess with an impressive six assists over the course of the game.

One of those got the team off the mark after a tense opening to the game – Great Britain’s first basket was brilliantly worked, with a quick exchange of passes and a smart finish from Niamh Horan despite aggressive pressure from multiple German defenders.

Midway through the second quarter, Lucy Robinson expertly dispatched a free-throw, and in the very next attack took a pass from Charlotte Moore and added another 2 points, helping to strengthen Great Britain’s position in the game.

Judith Hamer expertly drew a foul from Germany’s Lisa Bergenthal, drawing praise from her own teammates with a few proud fist-bumps. Germany opted to immediately call a timeout before Hamer was able to take her free-throw – but the number 9 didn’t blink, netting two from two to extend Great Britain’s lead further.

With the score 25-17 at the break, the contest was far from over – but a really strong and high scoring third quarter which saw Great Britain rack up 23 points to Germany’s 15 made proceedings slightly more comfortable.

But the game certainly didn’t mirror the two teams’ previous encounter as we approached the final ten minutes, as Germany rallied late, cutting the deficit from 17 to just 9 before Great Britain opted to call a time out and steady themselves. The group showed brilliant character to return to court and increase their intensity in a high-pressure game, introducing three substitutions and seeing the game out.

Scenes at fulltime were full of emotion, the team pulling together for a hugely important victory. A final score of 59 – 51 meant a hugely encouraging victory for Great Britain in testing circumstances.

Germany vs Great Britain (W)

Another close game for Great Britain women saw them edge out Germany in the final group stage game, booking a rematch against the Germans in the semi-finals.

Despite less-than-ideal conditions with Great Britain missing players and their coaching staff isolating, the team put in a collective effort to be proud of, and showed impressive mental resilience to stand their ground against a strong opponent.

Even with such a team effort – Robyn Love put in an especially strong performance, top scoring with 18 and playing every minute of the game.

There was nothing between the teams after the first quarter, Sophie Carrigill drew Great Britain level with a lovely effort on three minutes. In quarter two it was Charlotte Moore who turned on the style, netting twice in quick succession as the balance began to tip towards GB’s favour. Moore added 7 points in the second quarter alone, a vital contribution in a huge victory.

Going into the final quarter ten points clear of Germany, two coolly taken free-throws from Robyn Love early in the quarter settled any late nerves, and despite a few free-throw opportunities missed later in the quarter, Great Britain had done enough to invoke some desperation in the German team.

Capitalising effectively on some excessive fouls and some frantic play from their opponents as they tried to get back in the game, Great Britain saw out the encounter with bold and energetic pressing – Helen Freeman stealing the ball herself and scoring in style with just 3 minutes left.

Great Britain Women finished 40-53 winners, advancing to the semi-finals where they will take on Germany once more.

Great Britain Vs Italy (M)

Great Britain Men beat Italy for the second time in the European Championships, this time in the semi-final.

Despite falling behind after 30 seconds, Kyle Marsh asserted his quality with a wonderful 3-pointer to instantly put Great Britain into the lead. The team never looked back and quickly grew in confidence, adding further baskets from the likes of Lee Manning and Simon Brown helping stretch their advantage.

It was a scrappy end to the first quarter with a mixture of fouls and missed opportunities – but Great Britain continued in charge up until halftime, holding onto that 8-point advantage with the score standing at 33-25.

By that halfway period Gregg Warburton had already registered 5 assists, and after just 50 seconds into the third quarter he was providing for his teammates once again, steering the ball to Lee Manning who made no mistake.

Manning was in outstanding form in attack, and in the third quarter scooped a slightly wayward pass from the clutches of converging Italy players and, despite missing with his first attempt, remarkably retained the ball and casually flicked in the rebound.

With just over 1 minute left in the third quarter, Simon Brown was fouled and fell heavily – unable to convert his free-throws but who else but Lee Manning was first to the rebound to score.

Leading 48-35 going into the last ten minutes, Great Britain looked to get stronger as the game went on, Kyle Marsh working well in both defence and attack. In the end they were too much for the Italians to cope with, finishing the game 65 – 43 winners.

Great Britain vs Spain (W)

A nail-biting encounter with hosts Spain saw Great Britain Women narrowly lose out, with a final score of 52 -56.

Great Britain fell behind early on, but asserted themselves on the five-minute mark, overcoming a slight deficit to finish quarter one 18-10 ahead. A true team effort with 6 different scorers, Spain struggled to contain the variety and flexibility of Great Britain attacks.

Predominantly thanks to the brilliance of Virginia Pérez, who top scored with 24 points, Spain were able to slowly eat away at Great Britain’s lead. 3.5 player Robyn Love also shone, netting 10 points and 3 assists throughout the game – including a remarkable and dramatic late basket with 00:01 on the clock going into halftime.

The intensity only increased, and going into the final quarter the game was precariously balanced at 44-43 in Great Britain’s favour.

The final 10 minutes were full of nerves from both sides, and as the likes of Helen Freeman and Laurie Williams pushed hard to get Great Britain back in control, the game became frantic. Lots of quality on display from both sides, there we plenty of fouls as the game entered the final stage with the score agonisingly close.

With 1:45 left on the clock, Joy Haizelden continued her form from the previous game and netted from the free-throw line, bringing Great Britain within one 3-pointer of drawing level. But it was Spain who sensed opportunity on the break, and a with that deciding 2-pointer the hosts were able to call a tactical time out, and restrict Great Britain from retrieving the narrow lead they had taken into the final quarter.

Great Britain vs Israel (M)

Great Britain’s Men’s team eased their way into the 2021 European Championships with a dominant 103-46 win over Israel.

Kyle Marsh, Gregg Warburton and Terry Bywater led the scoring with an impressive 52 points between them. Yet the strength of depth was on display with Lee Manning and Phil Pratt also picking up more than 10 points each. GB successfully pressured the Israeli defence, scooping 24 free throw opportunities and the fast paced attacks resulted in 21 points for the British side.

Despite Israel leading 18 – 15 after the first quarter as Amit Vigoda scored an impressive three pointer as the whistle blew, Terry Bywater’s entrance halfway through Q2 made an immediate impact, with the six-time Paralympian scoring 12 points for the Great Britain side in the second ten minutes. GB found their form and had an impressive 19-point lead at half time.

Ending the third quarter 74-40, GB continued to assert their control, utilising their speed and extending their advantage to 34 points.

Thanks to the sensational shooting from Kyle Marsh in the final quarter, GB continued to increase their lead finishing at 103-46 at the final whistle.

Great Britain vs Austria (M)

Great Britain’s Men got through their sternest test of the European Championships to date with a hard-fought victory over Austria.

Despite starting well and approaching the second quarter with a 19-7 lead, Great Britain felt a strong response from Austria and went into half time narrowly in front.

Terry Bywater then scored 9 points in the third quarter to help Great Britain regain control of the game, ending the game second top scorer overall on 17 points, and also contributing 4 assists. Gaz Choudhry was the only player to better Bywater, netting 19. The game featured a number of strong challenges and a competitive atmosphere as Austria tried to put the GB team under as much pressure as possible.

Great Britain kept their cool throughout and put in a fantastically professional performance, able to capitalise on turnovers as Austria pressed high in attack – scoring 4 fast break points to Austria’s zero.

With a somewhat comfortable lead, it was five changes going into the final quarter of the game, and one substitute Kyle Marsh made an instant impact on proceedings, finding the net after just 13 seconds.

Great Britain remained strong until the last, racking up 13 points without reply until Austria opted to call a timeout in an effort to slow down the momentum of their opponents. Another win on the board from Great Britain who finished the game as 99 – 51 winners.

Turkey vs Great Britain (W)

Great Britain’s Women’s team made it two wins out of two with another impressive performance against Turkey, the game finishing 12-78 to Great Britain.

Cardiff Met Archers player Jade Atkin put in an outstanding performance, racking up 20 points in just under 15 minutes of game time. It was a blistering start to the game, Great Britain ending the first quarter with a 2-21 advantage thanks to the excellent form of Atkin – assisted strongly by Lucy Robinson and Charlotte Moore who also netted several times to put Great Britain firmly in control.

Jude Hamer then entered the fray alongside Kayla Bell, and it didn’t take the number 9 long to find herself on the scoresheet. Following her masterclass in shooting the game prior, she was in a similar mood this time out and managed to net 11 points over the course of the game.

Great Britain Women saved the best for last, as they finished the game with the highest scoring quarter of the contest. Coach Steve Caine opted for four changes heading into the last 10 minutes, and this flurry of substitutions paid off to help Great Britain finish strongly and add a further 26 points.

Joy Haizelden added to her personal tally with two driving lay-ups in quick succession, and Niamh Horan added a final 2 pointer with just over 10 seconds remaining.

GB Women will be delighted with such a strong start to the competition – tomorrow they return to action against the Netherlands.