6 July 2019
GB secure silver at European Championships
Great Britain suffered a hard-fought defeat in their first-ever Wheelchair Basketball European Championship final, as the Netherlands retained their crown 65-52 in Rotterdam.
Miles Thompson’s side held their own for large parts of the game with Laurie Williams, Amy Conroy and Robyn Love all registering double-figure points tallies for the Brits, who already secured qualification for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics by reaching the semi-finals.
The hosts had too much firepower however as the Netherlands accelerated away from the British team in the second quarter and never looked back to secure their seventh European title, Mariska Beijer scoring 24 points and Bo Kramer 21.
The opening exchanges were tightly contested before the hosts got going and registered the first score of the game through Kramer, while further scores from Kramer, as well as Jitske Visser and Beijer gave the Netherlands an early 13-4 advantage.
GB fought back through four points from Love but it was the Netherlands who had the better of the first quarter to lead 17-8.
In the second period, Conroy gave GB the perfect start with a sensational three-point jump shot as the Brits fought back to within three points thanks to additional efforts from Helen Freeman and Charlotte Moore.
The Netherlands, though, showed their class as they struck with four jump shots and Kramer, Beijer and Visser all impressed after a timeout to give them a 33-20 half-time lead.
Two lay-ups from Williams and another from Freeman appeared to see GB wrestle back some of the initiative in the third period but the Netherlands continued to pile on points of their own and finished the quarter strongly when Kramer added more jump shots to extend their advantage to 17 going into the final period.
Conroy, Williams and Madeleine Thompson added further points for GB in the last quarter but the Netherlands simply proved too strong and Beijer rounded off a stunning individual performance with another jump shot.
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