By Gerard Meagher, Sportsbeat, in Manchester
HELEN Freeman fired Great Britain to their second straight victory at the BT Paralympic World Cup – this time seeing off world silver medallists Germany in style in Manchester.
ON FIRE: Great Britain head coach Garry Peel talks to his side during their impressive victory over Germany at the BT Paralympic World Cup in Manchester (Action Images)
Just a year ago, Great Britain ended the four-team tournament empty-handed and in last place but fast forward to the present and Garry Peel’s side are unrecognisable and after an impressive victory over Canada on Monday, Freeman, who notched 21 points, and co overcame European champions Germany 58-53.
Great Britain were in the ascendancy from the off and led 27-24 at half-time and while Germany crept into a 46-45 lead after the third quarter, Gesche Schunemann fouled out and that proved pivotal as the hosts ended up the victors.
Japan now await in what will be Great Britain’s final group game where a repeat of their victory when the two sides met at last year’s World Championships in Birmingham would cement Peel’s side’s place in the final.
“I am extremely happy, it is the first time we have ever beaten the German team and they are the second best team in the world, so we are really pleased with the result,” said Peel.
“The game plan was to stop them defensively, which is exactly what the girls did and they played it perfectly. There are still things that we can do better, but it was a much better performance than yesterday.”
In a particularly physical game, Great Britain more than held their own with the likes of Laurie Williams and Louise Sugden excelling defensively.
“We are so happy we have never ever beaten the German team and they are ranked second in the world, the team is in shock,” said Williams.
“I am not a big scorer, but the team our game plan was strong defence stops good offence, we pulled out all the stops in defence and it was great.”
Meanwhile, Great Britain’s men got back to winning ways and vented their frustration on Brazil in a crushing 76-43 victory.
Matt Sealy led the way with 18 points while Dan Highcock chipped in with 15, ensuring Great Britain swiftly banished the memories of their disappointing defeat to France on Monday.
“That’s the game against France forgotten about,” said Highcock. “And to be honest, the game is already forgotten about.
“We’ve got Canada to play tomorrow and hopefully then we’ll get our revenge against France in the final.”
The BT Paralympic World Cup is taking place in Manchester from 23-28 May with elite international athletes competing in Swimming, Athletics and Wheelchair Basketball. Go to www.btparalympicworldcup.com for tickets and more information