Team GB suffered an agonising 8-10 defeat in an incredible bronze medal match against Australia at the 2017 World Games.
After going 5-1 down early on, GB produced a roaring comeback to lead with 15 minutes to play but Australia used their team experience to wrestle the game back and take 3rd spot.
It was Australia who started the game the stronger, Abbie Burgess and Sarah Mollison putting the Aussies 2-0 up before Ailsa Stott pulled one back for GB.
However, the goal didn’t curb the Australia dominance, Rebecca Lane, Theo Kwas and Burgess scoring again as a 5-1 lead put Australia in a commanding position, goalie Elizabeth Hinkes also coming up with a couple of saves to restrict GB.
But seven minutes before half-time, with Australia looking comfortable, the game was swung on its head as GB produced a devastating spell of play to which their opponents had no answer.
Sparked by a Claire Faram goal, GB went on a 6-0 run in 12 minutes either side of half-time that catapulted the side into the lead.
After Faram’s goal, Emily Gray and Sophie Morrill both added scores to go in at the break just 4-5 down, recharging memories of just a week previous and England’s famous comeback.
Indeed, when Gray, Faram and Morrill all scored again after just five minutes of the second-half to go 7-5 in front, it looked as though the Aussies were reliving a nightmare all over again, as GB dominated on the draw stifling Australia of any possession whatsoever.
However, to their credit, Australia rallied and hit back through Mollison and Courtney Hobbs to tie it up at 7-7 before Stott restored Team GB’s lead with 15 left in the game.
It was at this point that Australia’s gun players came to the fore and used their big-match experience to eventually turn the tide in their favour.
Australia’s top point-scorer from the recent World Cup Mollison tied the game up before Rebecca Lane, so dangerous in attack, teed up Hobbs and then Burgess to push Australia back ahead at the crucial moment.
Morrill and Dryden both had shooting opportunities for GB to pull it back but they found Hinkes, who finished game MVP with seven crucial saves, in their way and ultimately was the deciding factor in a pulsating back-and-forth contest finishing 8-10.
GB will take much away from this match and The World Games, ably competing against the best in the world and hopefully laying the foundations for future Team GB appearances.
Goals: Stott 2, Faram 2, Gray 2, Morrill 2.