You Did Us Proud

Team UK’s Wheechair Rugby team won a brilliant Invictus Games silver in Sydney after a titanic battle in the final.

 The silver medal-winning Team UK wheelchair rugby squad, including Serve On International Response Team member Pete Dunning, before the Invictus Games in Sydney.

The silver medal-winning Team UK wheelchair rugby squad, including Serve On International Response Team member Pete Dunning, before the Invictus Games in Sydney.

The squad, including Serve On International Response Team member and charity ambassador Pete Dunning, will be disappointed to have missed out on gold, but they should be enormously proud of a magnificent performance.

It was a nail-biter right to the end.

The team warmed up with three convincing wins in their first pool games on Wednesday, beating the Unconquered heroes 25-3, France 25-1 and New Zealand 26-2.

Next they came up against the home team.

The two sides were locked at 6-6 at half-time and it took two lots of extra time to separate them, with Australia finally coming out on top, 16-15.

 Team UK, including Serve On’s Pete Dunning, played its way to victory over USA in the semi-finals of the Invictus Games wheelchair rugby. Photo by Getty Images/Invictus Games Sydney 2018

Team UK, including Serve On’s Pete Dunning, played its way to victory over USA in the semi-finals of the Invictus Games wheelchair rugby. Photo by Getty Images/Invictus Games Sydney 2018

Team UK’s final pool game was against an extremely tough USA side.

At half-time, UK held the slight advantage, 8-6, but the USA fought back to level at the end of normal time.

Once more Team UK had been taken to extra time, but on this occasion it was they who triumphed, 18-17.

That meant the two sides, finishing second and third in the pool games round-robin league, would play each other again in Thursday’s semi-final, while unbeaten Australia played fourth-placed France.

Team UK got off to a solid start, building an 8-5 lead at the interval. They pulled away after the break to earn an 18-12 victory and a place in the evening final but, with Australia waiting for them, it was clearly too early to be celebrating.

 Serve On International Response Team member and ambassador Pete Dunning proudly wearing his Team UK shirt after the announcement of his inclusion in the Invictus Games squad.

Serve On International Response Team member and ambassador Pete Dunning proudly wearing his Team UK shirt after the announcement of his inclusion in the Invictus Games squad.

In the hotly-anticipated final, the home side edged the first half 13-10 but Team UK were far from beaten.

They gave it everything in the second half and though Australia managed to hold on for a 23-17 win, and the gold medal, there were momentous cheers for all of the teams involved in a fantastic contest.

Well done Pete, and to the rest of the UK team - you did us proud. And congratulations to Australia’s ‘Diggers’ and all the other teams.

An incredible effort all round.