Sarah_HargreavesDecember 5 - Britain women's handball team's dream of reaching the 2011 World Championships is over despite a valiant performance against Poland.

They finished third in the five-team qualifying group after going down 32-17 to the hosts, who were physically much stronger.

Despite victories over pre-tournament favourites Slovakia, as well as Cyprus, GB were unable to progress.

They had been given a chance to spring an upset after Slovakia drew with Austria earlier on Sunday, meaning victory over Poland would have taken them through.

But despite some good periods of play, the hosts were just too strong for GB, for whom goalkeeper Sarah Hargreaves (pictured) was voted player of the match.

Zoe Van De Weel chipped in with three goals from the right wing as did Kathryn Fudge, while Lyn Byl caused problems for the Polish side before having to go off with a bloodied nose towards the end.

Head coach Jesper Holmris said afterwards: "We played OK, but we should've converted more of our chances.

"When Poland were 7-2 ahead we had just as many chances and it should've been 7-7, but we wasted too many.

"Physically we were struggling a bit today, because Poland were a completely different level, and seeing them play they were obviously going to win the group - they were very strong.

"But overall the tournament has been fantastic for us, and our performance against Slovakia was awesome, and really shows what we can achieve and how far we've come.

"This has given the players such a lot of motivation to go back to their clubs and work hard, because they can see it really makes a difference."

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