International promotion for GB men’s Goalball team
on 09-02-2015 12:55
Great Britain’s men’s Goalball team have secured both the gold medal and promotion to the European B league after claiming victory in the IBSA Goalball Men’s European C Championships in Malmo, Sweden.
The team, comprising of Adam Knott (Winchester), David Knott (Winchester), David Butler (Nottingham), Filmon Eyassu (Cambridge) and Dan Rope (RNC Hereford) completed the group stages with four wins and two losses, meaning they comfortably qualified for the semi-finals.
Joining them in the latter stages of the competition were Russia, Portugal and Italy, creating a repeat of the 2013 European C Championship finals which saw heartbreak for GB when their unbeaten streak was broken by a semi-final defeat to Portugal and a loss in the bronze medal match to Italy. This forced them to miss out on promotion in the 2014 season and they had to wait until this year’s tournament for another opportunity to bid for promotion.
This time around, Russia comfortably defeated Italy with a score of 8-5 to secure their place in the final.
In their tense semi-final, GB claimed victory from their Portuguese rivals with a convincing 5-3 win to confirm a final showdown with Russia in the gold medal match.
The rivalry continued to the very final minutes of that game with the score tied 5-5 at full time, forcing both teams to overtime. With 90 seconds left on the clock in the first half, Dan Roper scored the golden goal with a spectacular shot to secure a 6-5 victory for GB.
The GB men have now qualified to compete in the 2016 IBSA Goalball European B Championships together with Russia and Portugal, who claimed the bronze medal with a convincing win against Italy to also secure their promotion.