Silver success for GB Lions
The Great Britain Lions women’s team are holding their heads high after bringing home GB’s first ever medal at the IFAF women’s world championships.
They may have lost the final 42-14 to heavy favourites USA. But that shouldn’t take any of the shine off the Silver medals they picked up. After all, this event has been run four times and USA have won it every time (in 2010, 2013, 2017 & 2022).
The closest GB have ever come to picking up a medal in these championships prior to this was in 2017 when they lost the Bronze medal match 19-8 against Mexico.
A little history before winning silver
So how far have the Great Britain team come to achieve this? Let’s take a look.
GB weren’t at the first championships in 2010. That tournament saw USA beat Canada 66-0 in the final. By 2013, GB still weren’t at the races at a tournament that saw USA again beat Canada in the final, this time by a score of 64-0.
GB made their first finals appearance in 2017, alongside Australia and Mexico. They would beat Finland 27-21 and lose to Canada 35-0 before losing out to Mexico in the Bronze medal match. That tournament saw USA beat Canada 41-16 in the final.
So, to go from two non appearances, to a 1-2 record and then pick up a silver medal is thrilling for the GB women’s team. Plus, in what was a historic result for team GB, they defeated Canada 20-13 to advance to the final.
GB became the first team outside of USA and Canada to contest the final of this competition. And they did themselves proud too. Even though they ultimately lost, they were tied at halftime which was quite the achievement.
Giving a good account of themselves
The USA team were heavy favourites. But team GB actually scored first, as WR Siobhan Walker took in the first TD. USA responded with two scores before Ruth Matta ran into the end zone to level scores at 14-14 at half time.
USA pulled away in the second half with four unanswered scores. But none of that can take the shine off the silver for Great Britain. For the first time ever European teams took two of the three medals too. Because hosts Finland came away with their third Bronze in the history of these championships.
In a summer of sporting success being dominated by the England Lionesses becoming European champions, this silver medal is another fantastic achievement for a British women’s sports team.
Banner Image: GB Lions lost to heavy favourites USA in the final. But did themselves proud bringing home a silver medal. Image from BAFA.