London 2012: Great Britain lose narrowly to United States in test

By Nigel Adderleyat Olympic Water Polo Arena

Great Britain produced their best performance of the Olympic test event so far in a narrow 7-6 defeat by USA, who are one of the favourites for the gold medal this summer.

Things looked ominous for Szilveszter Fekete's team when the Americans scored four times without reply in the early stages but, urged on by a partisan crowd in the 5,000-seat arena, Team GB responded strongly and outscored their more illustrious opponents in the second and fourth quarters.

All of GB's goals were scored by players who spent their formative years in the sport overseas.

Lisa Gibson, who was schooled in Portland, Oregan, netted her fifth goal of the tournament, Barcelona-born Ciara Gibson-Byrne scored twice while former New Zealand international Frankie Snell bagged a hat-trick, which she said afterwards was one of the highlights of her career so far.

"It was brilliant - the crowd was amazing and the way we clawed out way back from 4-0 down was brilliant," she told BBC Sport. "I think we proved today that we really can compete with the best teams in the world.

"It's so exciting to think what it will be like in a few months' time when we're fitter and stronger and the arena will be completely full - it's amazing how much the atmosphere lifts you and makes you dig deep when you're tired."

Great Britain now meet Hungary in Sunday morning's bronze medal play-off followed by USA v Australia in the final.

Team GB have been drawn in a tough group alongside Australia, Italy and Russia for the Olympics. Reigning champions Hungary are in the same group as the men's team.

Fran Leighton, who captains the British Women's team said: "All the games at the Olympics are going to be tough but we're pleased to have a mixture of European teams as well as Australia.

"We've had the chance to play against Australia this week in London and know what we need to do to improve against them.

"We're going to Greece for the World League matches next week then we'll be go back to Manchester and continue to train hard and focus on London 2012."

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