STRATFORD canoeist Nicole Brain and her Great Britain senior ladies canoe polo team-mates were in impressive form as they won silver medals at the first European Cup event at Saint-Omer, Calais, in France.
The selectors had, after the Charleroi International in Belgium, chosen a seven-strong GB ladies team. Other members who had played in the Charleroi GB teams made up a GB ladies B team.
Nicole, aged 21, was joined in the GB team by fellow members of the Dragon Ladies team, Louise Saxon and Bethan Littlewood.
The teams played off in leagues in which they played six games each. On the Saturday the GB ladies team won all four games, whilst the B team lost all theirs.
Nicole was happy to score three goals against the French U21 team as well as scoring goals in the GB B and the Polish games.
Sunday saw a difficult start as Nicole and the GB ladies were up against the top two ladies’ teams from Europe. Their first game of the day at 8am was against the dominant German ladies and they were beaten 6-3 in a hard fought game.
The last of the league matches was against the French ladies, who had beaten them in Charleroi a fortnight earlier. It was a fairly even game this time and it ended 3-3.
This left the German ladies top of the league, with France and GB ladies joint second on both points and goal difference. The Polish U21 ladies were a surprising fourth.
In the semi-final the GB ladies met the French again and this time they played a much better attacking game and prevailed 6-5.
The German ladies demolished the U21 Polish ladies 11-2 in their semi-final and the bronze medal match saw France beat the U21 Polish team 9-3 to claim the bronze medal position.
The final found the GB ladies playing the German ladies again but again the Germans were dominant and won 7-1, with the GB goal coming in the last few minutes of the game.
However, Nicole and her team came away satisfied, as a relatively new team, with their silver medal position.
Other GB results: Senior GB men – 6th; senior GB men B – 13th; senior GB ladies B – 9th; U21 GB men – 3rd.