Men’s U18 (Youth): Final
GB vs Kosovo 31:36 (14:18)
The GB Men’s U18 side brought their IHF Trophy – European Zone campaign to an end today, picking up a silver medal after they were narrowly defeated by hosts Kosovo 36:31 in the U18 (youth) final, held in Pristina earlier this afternoon.
It was the second time GB had played Kosovo in a week, following their 33:24 loss on Tuesday in the tournament opener, but today saw a competitive start to proceedings with GB drawing level at 9:9.
GB looked to capitalise on a much more improved start than that first clash, but with a couple of suspensions and technical errors Kosovo pulled away, ending the half 18:14 in front after GB had been down by just two (15:13) with under three minutes left of the first period.
However, GB came out strongly from the break after their half-time message of sticking to the plan and focussing on details was followed, and they quickly reduced the deficit to just two goals.
But the experienced Kosovans, buoyed by a passionate home crowd, came out strongly for the second half too as they powered ahead to extend their lead to eight goals. Chris McDermott’s men did keep themselves in touch, reducing the lead to four, but as the clock started to run down, the team could not narrow the gap further and they eventually lost by five.
Despite the loss, a little piece of GB history was made as a medal and second-placed finish at a major, IHF, international tournament was sealed.
Following the game, a closing and award ceremony for the top three teams was held with the British Ambassador to Kosovo, Ruairí O’Connell, presenting the medals to GB who can be very proud of their achievement.
Most Valuable Players: Josh Plumridge, Dan White, Sebastian Hesk
Men’s U20 (Junior)
GB vs Ireland 26:21 (15:12)
The GB Men’s Under 20 side won their first match in Kosovo, beating a familiar Ireland side 26:21, to set up their last match tomorrow against Malta, knowing a fourth-placed finish will be confirmed with a second win in two days.
After establishing control of the game in the first half against the Irish, GB failed to capitalise on mistakes from their opponents as well as being unable to convert fast-breaks, but despite these missed opportunities they went in to the break three goals up (15:12).
That lead started to diminish early on in the second period, but Interim Coach Bobby White rotated his bench which put his side back on track and they quickly opened up a five-goal lead, helped at the back by the most valuable GB player, goalkeeper Eoin Neal, behind a strong defensive line which helped to see the game out.
Scorers: Jack Lees (8 goals), Nathan Grant-Williams (5), Oliver Sutcliffe (5), Caleb Mathews (3), Liam McCarthy, Jack Field, Tyler Gilborn, Rob Paripovic and Adam Latter (all one goal)
Most Valuable Player: Eoin Neale (Goalkeeper – 52% save rate)
Throughout this week, a number of GB coaching staff have participated in a five-day International Handball Federation - IHF Coaching Course with lecturer Martin Tuma, which concluded today with a certificate presentation.
Photos: Federata e Hendbollit e Kosovës
For a gallery of photos from the Men's U20 match click HERE: https://www.facebook.com/pg/FederataEHendbollitEKosoves/photos/?tab=album&album_id=2066381173383118&__tn__=-UC-R
For a gallery of photos from the Coaching Course visit HERE: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=ms.c.eJxNkNkNxFAIAztacfpB~%3B42tAomT39GYwyYA2trdUzvsZwNccoDLDawhogXBY3RfRjmBYCLWBGdBPUDrmpEVBA1UWjBiOhGl4TqGH4LZUs1I1YD4GBvhL5EbeX7xlLkjaaQuUD63hr7GDn0BbMCnD907eDpiwOFQTB8F9nHimqEdLDm25NfAGlxbMqDqD2F1Wbw~-.bps.a.2066692856685283&type=1&__tn__=HH-R