Great Britain’s Under-20 women were thrashed 81-31 by Spain in their closing first round game at the European Championship – but still survived to fight another day.

With Group D rivals Latvia overcoming Slovakia 49-43, the mathematics left three teams on a 1-2 record behind the unbeaten Spanish. But GB qualified for the second phase in second place on the tie-breaking aggregate scores with the Slovaks missing out.

Kirstie Shiels was among the frustrated Brits (FIBAE)

It was a relief for coach Damian Jennings who admitted his team had been utterly outclassed in Novi Sad by a side with ambitions to lift the title next weekend.

“This was a disappointing performance overall,” Jennings told the BB website. “I’m sure many will reflect only on the scoreboard, but for us it is about how we perform against top Division A teams.

We did not compete in the manner in which we expressed as an ambition before the game and we will work hard to turn that around. This division punishes those who don’t come to compete, and I have no doubt we learned a lot from the experience.”

A 16-2 run in the second period put Spain up 40-14 at half-time and a 17-0 burst in the third left GB embarrassed.

Deanne Hayward had 10 for Britain who will take on Italy, France and the Netherlands in the next round.

Elsewhere on Saturday, Scotland’s men were beaten 75-65 by Andorra in a friendly in Stirling.


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