The GB Under-20 men’s team finished third at the 2018 Penedono tournament in Portugal this weekend.
It is the second year running that GB have entered this tournament which brings together the top Portuguese youth teams.
On the opening day in the group stages GB made a promising start and took an early lead against Benfica, but performed poorly thereafter and were 13-15 down at the break. After the break there was little improvement until the closing stages and GB went on to lose 29-32.
Later in the day GB played Braga and again took an early lead and were 15-14 up at half-time. In the second half GB extended the lead to 21-19, but Braga then closed the gap to 26-27 with 10 minutes remaining. GB held their nerve and finished 32-29 winners to take second place in the group on goal difference behind Braga, who had earlier beaten Benfica 40-30.
On Sunday GB played Sao Bernardo in the bronze medal play-off and once more stormed into an early 11-7 lead, before Sao Bernardo could recover and pull GB's lead back to 12-10 at the break. A strong second-half performance saw GB pull-away to convincingly win 28-20.
GB Under-20 coach Mark Hawkins said “After a disappointing first match, the players showed good character to improve in the second group game in, by far, our best performance. There have been some positive aspects to the camp and we have to take these forward into the next stage of our preparations. This has been an excellent start in our build up to the EHF M20 Championship”.