Steelers aces shine but its Olympic misery for GB

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ASHLEY Tait admits Great Britain blew their own chances of turning the world order upside down, writes Bob Westerdale.

GB were beaten by an outstanding Latvian side on day one of the final Olympic qualifying competition, staged in the Baltic country.

But it was the 4-2 defeat by France, the following day, which upset the Sheffield Steelers’ ace more.

That was followed yesterday by a 6-0 hiding from Kazakhstan - and a nightmare full-debut for Sheffield born goalie Ben Bowns.

“I think the feeling after the France defeat was very different to the feeling after the Latvia game” said Tait.

“Latvia were outstanding, the 11th best team in the world.

“Against France, despite them being ranked a lot higher than us, we felt that five-on-five we matched them.

“The second period let us down, we took some penalties that we would love to have back.

“I think when we came back into the room there was a feeling of a missed opportunity. A chance to surprise a lot of people.

“We had our scoring chances and the feeling on the bench was that we were going to get something from the game after we made it 3-2.”

Yesterday, in the dead-rubber game against Kazakhstan, GB were a goal behind after 30 seconds and 2-0 down on two minutes.

With Steelers Jonathan Phillips and Rod Sarich both in the penalty box, the east European Republic scored a third.

It was 6-0 after two periods - the last session ending goalless. Bowns saved 36 shots - his time will come.

Tait said he was mindful that GB will play the same opposition again in April at the World Championships.

They will have to do better, then.

The veteran forward said: “From a Steelers’ perspective I think we have all played well. Sarich made his debut and settled in really well. I think Phillips has been the pick of the bunch.

“He hasn’t put a foot wrong all trip, he has again led by example and captained this side very well.”