Get involved! Send your photos, video, news & views by texting COUNTY GAZETTE to 80360 or email us
Anna Sharkey scores but GB lose 7-1 to China in Paralympic goalball
7:54pm Thursday 30th August 2012 in London Olympics 2012 - Latest News
ANNA Sharkey got GB’s goal in their opening goalball match of the Paralympics but it was not enough to stop the team slipping to a 7-1 defeat.
She netted when Fengqing Chen carried the ball into her own net in the 14th minute with the score 2-0 to the world champions.
But GB were unable to build on the lifeline and conceded a further five goals in the second half.
“It was disappointing to lose but China are a great team and all you can do is take a deep breath and continue to work as a team,” said the 24-year-old physio therapist from Westcliff .
“The problem was the Chinese had the momentum but we will hope to get back on track against Finland tomorrow (Friday).”
Sharkey’s brother Michael scored the GB’s men’s team goal in their 11-1 defeat to Lithuania earlier in the day but Sharkey, who works at Southend Hospital , made light of her goal.
“Every goal is for the team,” she added. “It’s a nice feeling but you have to think of the big picture.”
But Sharkey admitted the welcome the team received from the partisan crowd in the Copper Box was “overwhelming”.
"It's a fantastic experience,” she added. “You have all those people there and they are calling your name, I just loved it.
"Even when China scored and things were not going our way they were still cheering us.
"The sense of occasion is overwhelming but it is still a game of goalball and you have got to keep your focus.”
GB matched the world champions in the opening stages, with both teams blocking well.
China took the lead in the seventh minute through Ruixue Wang’s penalty throw which beat the solitary Sharkey at the bottom left-hand corner.
And the Chinese doubled their advantage in the ninth minute when Shan Lin’s throw rolled over Jessica Luke and into the left of the GB goal for a 2-0 half-time lead.
Anna Sharkey got GB back into the game in the 14th minute as Fengqing Chen blocked her shot but carried it over her goalline.
There was an immediate time-out called by China, who restored their two-goal advantage with the first throw after the restart, when Chen’s throw went in off Georgina Bullen.
China extended their lead four minutes later when a Wang effort went in off Bullen.
Wang got her hat-trick to make it 5-1 in the 20th minute when her penalty rolled into the lef corner beyond Sharkey’s dive.
Two minutes later bagged her third goal of the match with another effort that went in off Bullen.
And in the final minute the Chinese added a seventh goal as the GB team were unable to keep out Wang’s throw.
GB made a substitution, bringing on Sydney 2000 Paralympian Louise Simpson into the centre to replace Bullen, before the final buzzer sounded.
The Brits new defending champs China were always going to be a tough nut to crack but had hopes of sneaking a result against them.
But Sharkey added: “It was a heavy loss against the world champions. But we worked hard and the foundations are there for the future.”