25 August 2019
Great Britain defeat Finland on final day but Finns take gold
Finland secured a second successive European title despite narrowly losing to host nation Great Britain on the final day of play in the Women’s European Championship.
With results tight between Finland, Great Britain and Sweden through the tournament, the hosts needed to defeat Finland on the last day with a margin of victory greater than 5 runs to avenge their defeat in the 2015 edition.
A thrilling contest saw Great Britain lead at half time by a score of 12-0, a lead extended to 18-0 in the third quarter. It was Ruth Matta, the talismanic British player, aided by the emerging star of Sydney Green, who drove Great Britain to the brink of the title with a series of carries resulting in two touchdowns and 128 yards amassed.
With the game and the title seemingly slipping from their grasp Finland made a charge. Tyttie Kuusinen’s 13 carries made an impact. Her touchdown, alongside an earlier one by Janina Vertinen and aided by Sanni Seppala’s extra points. The score narrowed to 18-14 and with a resolute Finnish defence withstanding a final onslaught British hearts were broken and the white and blue sideline were able to cheer a nail-biting and oh so narrow victory.
A victory earlier in the day over Austria saw Sweden secure the silver medal as Great Britain won bronze. Austria finished fourth.
Image c/o L Mustakari