Heartbreak for Faulkner and Hatherley

Daniel Faulkner was left to wonder what might have been
Daniel Faulkner was left to wonder what might have been
Havant have been in superb form

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Daniel Faulkner was left to wonder what might have been after seeing a gold medal slip through his fingers at the Australian Youth Olympic Festival.

The former Havant starlet – along with fellow Barncroft Way product Sam Hatherley – helped Team GB fight back from 3-0 to lead 4-3 against the host nation.

However, Australia hit back to level with two minutes to go of the prestigious final.

And then went on to seal victory in extra-time courtesy of a golden goal.

A late rally from the Aussies had claimed triumph when the two sides met at the competition’s round-robin stage last week.

It didn’t appear they would need such a grandstand finish this time around, though, as they raced into a 3-0 advantage at the interval.

Back came Faulkner, Hatherley & Co with an explosive rally to wipe out the deficit and put Team GB into pole position for the gold medal.

But in the end it was not enough, as the hosts had the final say with their crucial late strikes.

Faulkner, whose father David won gold at the Seoul Olympics in 1988, revealed he would have taken silver before the tournament.

But after going down in such heartbreaking circumstances, the former Portsmouth Grammar School pupil admitted it was tough to take. I have mixed emotions about the silver medal,’ said the 18-year-old.

‘If someone had said “you will win silver” before the tournament, I would have been pleased.

‘But to get so close to gold is so frustrating. We should have won it.

‘For the neutral, it was probably one of the best games they will see.

‘But for us we feel like it was a missed opportunity.

‘We didn’t change much tactically at half-time.

‘But mentally we knew we were fitter and we knew the goals would come.

‘So then to lose it in extra-time was gutting.

‘A silver medal is never bad, I suppose.’

Meanwhile, Widley’s Rebecca van Berkel claimed bronze with a 2-1 victory over the USA in the ladies’ play-off.

Once again it was a golden goal that clinched it – this time going the way of Team GB.

n Lloyds TSB Local Heroes, in partnership with SportsAid, has supported 1,000 of Britain’s most talented developing athletes. As part of Lloyds TSB’s commitment to helping future sports stars prosper, the programme will continue in 2013. Follow future stars at facebook.com/lloydstsblocalheroes