The Great Britain women’s team was easily defeated twice this past week by Iceland in Group Play qualifier matches for the 2010 European Championships. Iceland won the first match in London 27-16 and the second match in Reykjavik 40-20. Great Britain is winless in 4 matches having previously lost to France 42-16 and Austria 30-20 back in October.
Commentary: While wins against Iceland were not expected, Great Britain was surely hoping for more respectable score lines as the Iceland women (unlike the men’s program) are a second tier nation in Europe. Last October’s match against Austria was competitive and with 5 months more of development for their players better results would have been a sign of progress. Progress, however, does not usually occur in a straight line and this past week could be an example of three steps forward, two steps back. Additionally, Iceland may be better than thought as they were able to beat Austria at home and a return match in Vienna this May will likely decide who goes through to the next round.
On a positive note the British program continues to get good press coverage from the mainstream media with the BBC again filing a video report. From the video footage it also appears that the Britain – Iceland match was well attended with a good atmosphere.
THN (18 Oct 09): British Women given dose of reality: http://teamhandballnews.com/news.php?item.850
VIDEO: BBC (1 Apr 09): Iceland freeze out GB handball women:
Morethanthegames.com (31 Mar 09): Holmris pleads for patience after British handball defeat: http://www.morethanthegames.co.uk/handball/3110240-holmris-pleads-patience-after-british-handball-defeat
British Federation: Iceland Prove Too Strong for GB Women: