LANCASTER’S Becky Kershaw and Alex Rutlidge were in the Great Britain Women’s water polo team for the recent European Championship qualifier against Spain.
The British team pushed the Spanish team, ranked eighth in the world, hard but lost a tight game 10-6 in Bilbao.
Spain are favourites to win the group but were forced to dig deep by Great Britain who are steadily improving before the Olympic games next year.
They recently beat Greece, who are seventh in the world rankings.
The first half of the match was a very tight affair and mid-way through the contest Spain were leading 3-2.
Spain had previously won the earlier encounter in Manchester 14-9 which Alex missed, and they were able to increase their lead in the third quarter of this game to 6-4.
In the fourth period Spain were able to withstand the British onslaught in the final stages and made sure of the result with two late goals.
Neither Beckie or Alex got on the score sheet but made significant contributions – both had a hand in setting up goals and in the second half Alex was forced to play out of position at centre-back as Great Britain had lost both regular players in that position due to the totting up of exclusions.
Great Britain’s next qualification game is at home in September to Ukraine where victory will ensure second place in the group and a place in the finals next year in Eindhoven.