History For England On Fifth Attempt

20 August 2013

U18 WOMEN

8. Jay-Ann Bravo-Harriott (England)
Jay-Ann Bravo-Harriott picked up 13 points in England's maiden victory

On the fifth time of asking, England made history at the U18 European Championship Women as they claimed their first ever win in Division A after a strong finish took them past Slovak Republic 57-51 in Group F.

Vukovar was the setting for the historical moment as England, boosted by the belated arrival of forward Janice Monakana, decided a gripping contest with an 14-8 run down the stretch.

It was certainly a big turnaround for Leonard Busch and his players in the wake of their stinging 34-point reverse to fellow strugglers Portugal 24 hours earlier.

Off the back of a noticeably bewitching and calming rendition of their national anthem, England looked a team transformed, playing with the kind of composure and confidence that had previously been lacking.

They moved 16-11 in front after an assured opening 10 minutes, but their lead was cut to just two points at the break by Slovakia.

With both nations cancelling each other out during the third quarter, it set up a fascinating finale as Slovak Republic continued to labour due to their inability to get themselves onto the free-throw line - making one solitary trip to the line in 40 minutes.

When it mattered most it was England who found the spark in crunch time to wrap up the victory.

Kingpin Shequila Joseph produced a better display with 12 points, whilst Harriett Ottewill-Soulsby and Freya Szmidt pulled down 21 rebounds.

Lucia Hadacova had a fine 12 points and 10 rebounds for the losing side.


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