Great Britain’s place in the women’s basketball was assured, by the very narrowest of margins. Thanks to the slender victory against Brazil in the previous match, no matter what the Brazilian team did later in the day and no matter the score against Canada in the last group game, Great Britain’s women would go into Tuesday knowing they were still in the competition.
The Canadian side has been a strong contender during these Paralymics; however if you are to prove your worth against a huge side, to give the next opposition something to be concerned about then go hell for leather and give the team you’re playing a huge scare.
Great Britain started well, even though the Canadian side took an initial two point lead in the first ten seconds as Harnock took the chance to give the Canadian side an early lead. This seemed to galvanise the British side as Amy Conroy from Aylesbury rampaged through the Canadian defences to score eight points in a matter of minutes to give a slight lead. This lead, although brief, was greeted with cheers from the audience inside the venue and the roar of approval from the crowd was as huge as had been all week when Laurie Williams scored a magnificent basket from a rebounded shot to give the British side a psychological boost at the end of the first quarter.
The sound of Queen’s We Will Rock You echoed round the arena and it exemplified the nature of the competition and the tenacity in which both the women’s and men’s game of wheelchair basketball has been taken to the hearts of all those that have been fortunate enough to watch the games.
The second quarter of the game saw a resurgent Canadian side, shaken by the playing ability of the British side, start to play as if they really meant to win the Paralympic gold. Some great shooting by Jewells, Ouellet and Harnock saw the Canadians open up a half time lead of nine points.
The second half saw the Canadian side assert their dominance of the British ladies and although both sides will probably have to go some to beat the two of the favourites, Germany and Australia should they meet them in the quarter finals, it was becoming clear that Canada might have the better chance. Certainly the Canadian side led by Katie Harnock were the much more impressive side as the game wore on and the seconds ticked by.
Great Britain certainly performed well enough but the job became too much and needless fouls drawn didn’t help the cause as the second half drew to a close and the prospect of an even harder task awaited them. The proficiency and sheer determination of the Canadian side should at least see them make the semi-finals, perhaps go all the way to the final and the final result of 67-50, and the amount of possession bore testament to a well drilled Canadian side.
Great Britain however will face Germany in the quarter finals, a match that won’t be for the faint hearted.
Great Britain: Maclean, Grady, Strange, Freeman, Williams, Hamer, Conroy, Thompson, Turner, Sugden, Davies, McPhee.
Coach: Garry Peel.
Canada: Allard, Mclachlan, Ohama, Ouellet, Steeves, Jacques, Harnock, Williams, Ferguson, Jewells, Vliegenthart, Feser.
Coach: Bill Johnson.
Final score Great Britain 50 – 67 Canada.
Player of the match: Harnock (Canada)
Other match results:
Mexico 28- 68 Germany