The GB Under-20 men’s team took silver at the Sao Pedro tournament in Portugal this weekend.
As part of their ongoing preparations for next Summer’s M20 EHF Championship, the team travelled to Portugal for the second time this year, to take part in the five-team round-robin tournament.
GB played their opening match against San Bernardo on Friday, having only arrived earlier that day. GB raced into an early lead and were 15-11 up at half-time, but tired a little in the second half as San Bernardo came back at them, but GB kept their heads and went on to win 30-28 in a tight finish. Josh Plumridge top scored with 11 goals.
On Saturday GB played Ginasio Clube de Tarouca. After a slow start, GB picked-up the pace and edged ahead, reaching half-time 13-11 up. A blistering start to the second half saw GB take control and go on to win 35-20, helped by six goals from Craig Yule.
Sunday saw GB play two matches. In the morning they were up against hosts Nucleo de Andebol de Penedono. GB made a steady start and built-up a 16-10 half-time lead. GB kept-up the pressure in the second half to win 34-22and set-up a deciding encounter in the afternoon with favourites Braga. Craig Yule was again top scorer with eight goals.
After a close initial spell, Braga started to pull-away steadily and reached the break 20-14 up. GB never managed to close the gap in the second half, but matched their opponents goal-for-goal in the last 18 minutes, eventually going down 34-26. Josh Plumridge was again on target with six goals.
With three wins and one defeat, GB took a very respectable silver medal and Hamish Bottomley was named Best Goalkeeper at the tournament.
GB U20 Men’s Head Coach Chris McDermott commented “This was an excellent tournament for our team to gain more experience against seasoned Portuguese teams. The results are a really strong indicator of the progress the squad is making, having lost this time last year against San Bernardo. I am really happy with how the group is developing”.
He added “we are very grateful to our hosts Penedono for once again welcoming our team with such generosity and warmth”.
GB vs San Bernardo 30-28
GB vs Tarouca 35-20
GB vs Penedono 34-22
GB vs Braga 26-34
Hamish Bottomley – Kelvinside
Ed Irving – Warrington Wolves
Josh Plumridge - Nottingham
Josh McDaid – NEM Hawks
Jeremy Hirel – Metropole Poissy (France)
Sebi Hesk – Warrington Wolves
Elliott Buckle – Bucks Bullets
Miguel Vega Harwood – Colegio Vetusta (Spain)
Charlie Fletcher – NEM Hawks
Jack Booth - Warrington Wolves
Craig Yule – Tryst 77
Sean Byron – Livingston
Josh Braker – Cambridge
Matthew Estevens – Livingston
Aymen Arari – Bucks Bullets
George Sawyer – Bristol
Rob Damianou – Carshalton Titans
Head Coach: Chris McDermott
Assistant Coach: Andy Clarke
Team Manager: Kevin Matthews
Physio: Bob Bramah