Belper brothers Gallin and Ross Montgomery travelled out to Poznan in Poland recently with the Great Britain Canoe Polo Squad to compete for their country in the European Championships.
This year, 17 countries were taking part in the championships for this rapidly growing, exciting water sport which has a much bigger following on the continent.
For example, Polish television were transmitting live coverage of their national teams to viewers in their country.
The Great Britain men’s team, including Gallin (24) and Ross (22), easily topped their group with wins against Sweden, Spain and Russia and they progressed into round two in the selection of teams that was dubbed the “group from hell”.
Here they had to face the current world champions, The Netherlands and the current world runners up, Germany, and Ireland.
After an easy win over the Irish (8-2), they drew 3-3 with the Dutch and then played Germany, where they hung on at 3-3 for much of the game until the Germans were awarded and scored a penalty in the last three minutes.
Unfortunately, that result put Great Britain into a fifth to eighth play off pool, where they narrowly lost to France 3-2.
They then played a return match with Ireland, which they won 9-3 to finish in seventh place overall at the completion of their games in Poland.
This is a young, developing side and the coaches were pleased with the result of their team, stating that this was a very good performance on the European stage and that there is a great foundation now in place to be able to build on for the Worlds, which are to to take place next year, held in France.