Fareham ace helps GB rugby team to fifth place in Paralympics

Murderball star Ross Morrison
Murderball star Ross Morrison
Connor Ronan. Picture: Joe Pepler

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Great Britain’s wheelchair rugby team saved their best till last as they signed off from London 2012 with their second win at the Basketball Arena.

With Fareham’s Ross Morrison playing a key role, Britain produced their top performance of the Games to outclass Sweden and secure fifth place in the tournament.

They matched their world ranking thanks to a 59-47 victory against the European champions after they had overcome Belgium earlier in the day.

It means GB finish as the top-ranked European side at London 2012 having beaten the other three European nations. After placing fourth at the last two Paralympics, Britain’s 2012 medal hopes were dashed by Japan in their last group game on Friday. But coach Tom O’Connor said Britain’s young and rebuilt team had achieved as much as could be expected.

‘What we’ve got to realise is there are two divisions,’ he said.

‘One with the States, Canada, Australia and Japan, and if you look at the other it’s all four European teams, so we’ve got to bridge the gap.

‘It’s relatively small in this country compared with the States and other nations. But we’ve put it on the map. I can see it growing.

‘We’re outside the medals and that was our target.’

Aaron Phipps was Britain’s top scorer with 34 goals, taking his tournament total to 163.

Sweden, ranked fourth world, were fifth at their only previous Games in Sydney 12 years ago.

They adopted the long-ball game, using dangerman Stefan Jansson, while Brown controlled the early attacking plays for Britain with the experienced Barrow executing valuable blocks.

Phipps entered the court after four minutes and raised the tempo as Britain ended the period 13-11 to the good.

Phipps extended the lead in the second with a dash and grab on to a long ball from former Portsmouth Grammar School student Morrison to score just inside the post.

He put Britain four up and a Morrison steal opened the court for Phipps to add another to GB’s advantage and they closed the half leading 27-22.

Britain led 42-36 at the end of the third quarter and tightened their grip in the fourth. Successive Phipps turnovers had the crowd chanting ‘GB, GB’ in the last few minutes as the Britons cruised over the line for a 12-goal victory.