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Lions Open With Win

25 June 2017

Great Britain defeat Finland in World Championship opener.

The Women’s World Championship opened on Saturday with a stunning victory for the Great Britain Lions.

Great Britain showed no signs of nerves as they took to the field in their first World Championship fixture but they did fall behind to an early touchdown by Finn Emmi Jarn and an extra point from Sanni Seppala.

Parity was quickly restored as Ruth Matta ate up the field for a stunning touchdown whilst Jayne Meddows duly converted the extra point.

A tight affair swung the way of the British just before half time as Jessica Anderson latched on to a 50 yard pass from Jo Kilby to make the score 13-7.

In the second half, Great Britain managed to put further distance between the teams as Lucy Kirk intercepted a Finnish pass and ran it into the endzone from over 50 yards. Matta added an extra two points to make the score 21-7.

The Finns piled on the pressure and Kristi Nirhamo reduced the deficit to 7, clutching a 25 yard pass from Jonna Hakkarainen.

Great Britain responded quickly and the Finns fell further behind when Kilby found Anderson again as the scoreboard moved to 27-14.

The influential Hakkarainen and Jarn combined to move the Finns to within 6 and the last seconds of the game saw Finland on the Great Britain 5 yard line but unable to penetrate, leaving the British to celebrate victory.

Speaking to FootballCanada.com Head Coach Jim Messenger said:

“It was a terrific game today,” he said.  “We really had to dig hard because Finland is such as well-rounded team.”

“They are a well-run, well-coached team.  They played better on offence and defence all-around than we did but we made those opportunities through those situations, took our chances when we had them and we’re very fortunate to come out with the win today.”

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