After a previous capitulation in the semi-finals against the tournament’s long-term gold medal favourite team, the Netherlands, it quickly became clear that France were similarly outmatched against Great Britain. Rewarding the Sunday morning ‘home-crowd’ faithful making up the majority of the audience for the 8:45am tip-off at the Worcester Arena, Great Britain proceeded to open up a 39-13 lead by half time.
As she had done through the whole tournament, Great Britain’s invaluable guard Helen Freeman led the way for the team both on the court and the stat sheet (10 points, 6 assists, 4 rebounds in the game). Compounding the problem for France of Freeman’s ability to make space and buy time for herself and teammates, the France team did not emphasise defensive pressure through the spell in which Great Britain jumped to their early lead.
Although France tightened up in defence as Great Britain rotated their team until the end of the match, the bronze medals were all but hanging on the leaders’ necks from the resume of play after the half time break. Through this straightforward conclusion to the game, the overall strength of the Great Britain team was reflected in nine players finishing with five or more point, eight with multiple rebounds and five with multiple assists.
For the 69-39 match winners, the victory secured a third successive bronze medal at European Championship finals tournaments for Great Britain alongside already having ensured 2016 Rio Paralympics qualification with tying up the previous semi-final spot in the European Championships.
MVP: Helen Freeman (Great Britain)