Wilcox scores as Team GB are a whisker away from producing water polo shock (From The Westmorland Gazette)
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Wilcox scores as Team GB are a whisker away from producing water polo shock
TEAM GB almost caused a huge upset in the women's water polo to achieve their best ever result. Russia came out 7-6 winners in a tense affair at the Water Polo Arena in the Olympic Park.
Chloe Wilcox from Reagill near Shap scored Britain's second goal from the left hand side to put the home side 2-1 up with two minutes left in the first quarter.
And she almost got Britain a historic equaliser as the home side trailed 7-6 with a lob shot two minutes from the end but her effort was kept out thanks to a superb save from the Russian keeper. As one of the strongest swimmers in the team, Wilcox started each of the quarters by beating her Russian counterpart to the ball in the swim-off - the way every quarter in water polo starts.
Alex Rutlidge, of Burton-in-Kendal, also put in a great shift as Team GB stuck with the Russians despite being 4-2 behind in the second quarter. The Brits pulled it back to 4-4 and a goal apiece took the score to 5-5 at half time. The third quarter was a war of attrition as Russia scored the only goal of the eight-minute period.
Angie Winstanley-Smith secured her hat-trick to equalise in the first minute of the fourth quarter and as both sides pushed for an equaliser, Rosie Morris in superb form in between the sticks for Britain, Ivanova scored on the counter-attack to break British hearts. Wilcox had her lob shot but it wasn't enough as Russia scraped by a Team GB side that can be proud of their efforts.
The last time the two sides met was in Eindhoven, Holland in the European Championships when the Russians won by five goals, so tonight's performance was a vast improvement. Beijing bronze medallists Australia beat Italy in the other Group B match.
There are 13 players in the Team GB water polo squad, including one goalkeeper, six outfield players and six substitutes. There are four eight-minute sessions and players are not allowed to touch the bottom or sides of the pool during the game. The match today (Monday) was the British women's first ever Olympic water polo match.