The GB Under-18 Women’s team finished eighth at the IHF/EHF Trophy in Tuzla as they gained valuable international experience.
Most of the team were making their GB debut at the competition in Bosnia & Herzegovina - and the players can take great heart from the fact that they won a match in the preliminary round to finish in third place in group B.
Two players picked up injuries in the final group match, making the play-off matches even more challenging.
In the Saturday cross-over match against Cyprus, GB made a poor start but fought hard to get back to 10-11 at the break. However Cyprus increased the pressure in the second half and GB again dropped behind, eventually losing 19-24. Gabrielle Leese played superbly in goal, while Kate Heginbottom and Storm Judge scored six each.
GB then re-played Azerbaijan in the 7th place play-off. The loss of captain Storm Judge who had to return home for exams, was a further set-back for the team. GB battled hard, but again made a slow start and struggled to recover, but were still only 10-14 adrift at half-time. They kept pace with Azerbaijan, but could not close the gap as in their first match and eventually lost 22-28. NEM Hawks’ Heginbottom put in a storming performance with nine goals, while captain for the day Camilla Jessen-Salter added seven.
Joint Coach Bill Baillie commented : “We are hugely proud of our players. This was a steep learning curve for the team, with many having no international experience whatsoever. However, they showed great fighting spirit throughout the week”.
Joint Coach Gary McCafferty added: “There are a lot of positives we can take from this tournament and the players have learned a great deal. We will now go back and begin the preparations for the Under-19 EHF Championship next year.”