RICHMOND, B.C. _ Jamie Stead scored with .03 left on the clock as Team Great Britain defeated Team Sweden 48-47 in a see-saw battle Friday at the Canada Cup International Wheelchair Rugby Tournament.
It was a tight match between Britain, ranked No. 5 in the world, and Sweden, ranked sixth. The lead changed hands several times and both teams made crucial mistakes.
Sweden took a 38-36 lead into the fourth quarter but Britain kept chipping away. The scored was 47-47 with 1:01 left. The Swedes made a critical turnover by throwing the ball away, then went down a man when Tobias Sandberg was sent off for a penalty.
With time ticking away, Great Britain twice called time out to eat up the clock, then gave the ball to Stead to punch in the winning point.
Britain’s Ayaz Bhuta said the final minute was like a chess match.
“Any mistake in the closing stages of a game could be costly,” said Bhuta. “Luckily we were clinical in that department.
“We had more fitness on the court. It shows the value of the depth of the squad.”
Britain played the game without James Roberts who was hurt in a 47-44 loss to Canada earlier in the day. That came on the heels of Britain’s 50-48 loss to Team U.S.A. in Thursday’s opening game.
“We’ve played No. 1 and No. 2 in the world,” said Bhuta. “We felt we could have won (those games).
“It’s always nice to win against the Swedes.”
Sweden dropped to 1-2.
The tournament is being held at the Richmond Olympic Oval. Of the seven teams participating, only Switzerland will not be competing at this summer’s Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
The round-robin tournament sees each team playing each other twice. The competition ends Sunday.