Wilcox hattrick can't stop Team GB from women's water polo defeat to Russia (From The Westmorland Gazette)
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Wilcox hattrick can't stop Team GB from women's water polo defeat to Russia
TEAM GB missed out on claiming their first ever women's water polo win after losing to Russia.
The last time the two sides met was in the opening Olympic encounter, which Russia narrowly won 7-6, so the GB lasses which included Chloe Wilcox from Reagill and Alex Rutlidge from Burton-in-Kendal came out fired up for the fifth to eighth place classification match.
Great Britain produced an excellent performance in the first quarter as they took the lead twice. Three great finishes by the Russians, who only just lost to Hungary 11-10 in their quarter-final, put them in a 3-2 lead.
But Wilcox equalised by shooting past three defenders to restore parity for Team GB. At the beginning of the second period Wilcox had the opportunity to put Great Britain ahead but her penalty was saved, and Russia went up the other end of the pool to put them back in the lead. Frankie Snell got Team GB back level in the sixth minute of the quarter to make it 4-4 and Wilcox made amends for her earlier miss with a sumptuous lob over the keeper after she went round a defender to give Britain a 5-4 lead at half time.
Russia narrowly edged the third quarter with a goal in the last 20 seconds to lead 8-7 going into the last session, and an early goal in the final period put them 9-7 up. A goal apiece made it 10-8 but Wilcox completed her hattrick with a superb goal to bring Team GB back to within one of the Russian Federation.
With three minutes left Wilcox had a chance but a last-ditch tackle thwarted her attempts at an equaliser. And as the clock showed 1.16 left, Russia scored with a long-range effort to secure their place in the match to decide fifth and sixth.
On Thursday afternoon Team GB will take on Italy, the side who beat Britain 10-5 in their last game of Group B last Friday, to decide who will finish seventh and eighth in the final game of the women's water polo campaign.