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SKATER HOCKEY: Swindon trio join GB squad
6:00am Thursday 25th October 2012 in Sport
THREE Swindon Flames players were part of the Great Britain Under 19s side that won bronze at the European Skater Hockey Championships in Aarhus, Denmark.
Alex Baker, Josh Bonello and Jack Townsend, all 17, were part of the 16-man squad and Swindon Flames coach Shaun Ryan was GB manager for the weekend.
Baker, the first-line defender from Freshbrook who is training to be an electrician, was playing in his second European Championships, while netminder Bonello from Westlea and forward Townsend were making their debuts.
All three played a significant role in Saturday's group matches.
Bonello achieved a rare international shutout in the 8-0 victory over Denmark, a game which saw Baker set up a goal for Townsend, before both players combined to allow Bonner to tap in.
Baker added additional assists during the day's other matches and Townsend ended the day with three goals and two assists, the results setting up a semi with Switzerland on Sunday.
Despite being on the back foot for most of the first half, staunch netminding by Bonello and defending by Baker helped restrict Switzerland to just two goals.
As the period drew to a close, Baker sent Townsend through to score and pull GB back into contention.
Switzerland extended their lead just after half time but Townsend replied immediately by converting on the rebound.
But this was as good as it got for Britain as the bigger, stronger Swiss players dominated the rest of the match.
Britain ended the tournament with a comfortable victory over Austria to win the bronze medal, before watching Germany edge out Switzerland in the final.
Townsend finished the weekend as Britain's top goal and point-scorer and was awarded the GB’s player of the tournament award.
Ryan said: “It is fantastic for the club to have three junior players representing their country in a major international championship, and all three can be justly proud of their performances.”
The three players will next be in competitive action in November as Swindon Flames juniors attempt to defend their British National Championship title at Rotherham.
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