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Page last updated at 19:41 GMT, Friday, 28 May 2010 20:41 UK

Slovakia end Great Britain's Euro Championship hopes

Audrey Cooper
Cooper's side were narrowly beaten by Slovakia

Great Britain women's team's hopes of reaching the final stages of the European Championships ended with a five-set loss to Slovakia in Sheffield.

GB produced some good play in the two-and-a-half hour match but went down 25-27 28-26 25-17 26-28 9-15.

The result means the team are still without a win in the competition.

"We're obviously disappointed but it's a performance we can be proud of as we've shown we can compete at this level," said captain Lynne Beattie.

"Last year, we were struggling to win sets at this level but we came out today and played a frantic match which we could have won.

"We've come on leaps and bounds and there's so much more to come this summer."

Coach Audrey Cooper added: "This was a performance to be proud of. The girls executed the game plan excellently right from the first point.


"The Slovakians kept coming at us but we held our ground and blocked and defended particularly well. The difference was just our execution at the end of the fourth set."

Britain came into this recent round of fixtures bottom of their group having lost to Slovakia, Israel and Ukraine at last weekend's first round in Severodonetsk, Ukraine.

This left Cooper's side with no margin for error at Ponds Ford in Sheffield, but despite an improved display they came up against a resilient Slovakian side.

Slovakia won a closely-contested first set, coming back from 19-14 down to seal set point at the third time of asking.

Great Britain came back in the second set - taking it on their fourth set point - which they took into the third, claiming it 25-17.

It all looked to be going well for Britain in the fourth, when they raced into a 8-4 lead, but Slovakia hit back and eventually levelled the match at 2-2 after succeeding with their fifth set point.

Slovakia took control of the final set and led 8-4 at the first technical time-out.

The closest GB came was within two points by fighting back from back from 4-9 to 7-9, but once Slovakia began to establish a lead again they never looked back.

GB managed to save one match point, but they were unable to rescue a second.

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see also
GB volleyball boost for Sheffield
01 Dec 09 |  Volleyball
GB coach agrees Greek club deal
30 Sep 09 |  Volleyball

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