BT PWC 2012: Barker and Diallo grab hat-tricks to send Britain into final
MICHAEL BARKER grabbed a hat-trick against Ireland as Great Britain's 7-a-side cerebral palsy football team booked their place in Saturday's BT Paralympic World Cup final against Brazil.
GOLD SEEKERS: Michael Barker scored a hat-trick to fire Britain into the final of the BT Paralympic World Cup
It was all to play for heading into Friday's crunch clash with both sides fighting for second spot in the group but after a sticky start Great Britain made light work of their opponents running out 7-3 victors.
Ibrahima Diallo also helped himself to a treble as Lyndon Lynch's men secured back-to-back victories to keep alive their chances of gold at the City of Manchester Arena.
"That was a great game, I'm so happy we won," said Barker. "I was really chuffed that I got a hat-trick.
"But we want gold on Saturday and I won't be happy with anything less, so we will have to play our best game. I love the competition here and it's a great build up ahead of London."
Great Britain were slow out of the blocks but Diallo broke the deadlock with a brilliant individual effort after 22 minutes.
The tie was finely poised going into the interval but Barker doubled his side's lead two minutes after the restart with a penalty to seemingly set Great Britain on their way.
However Blair Glynn headed past his own keeper from a Gary Messett corner in the 37th minute to hand Ireland a lifeline, although it didn't last too long with Barker restoring his side's two-goal lead less than 60 seconds later.
Ireland's hopes faded further when captain Matt Dimbylow added a fourth three minutes later but Luke Evans struck with a quarter-hour remaining to keep Great Britain sweating.
Barker was having none of it though and completed his hat-trick soon after, with Diallo putting the result beyond doubt by getting his second and third in the dying minutes to stake his own claim for the match ball before Messett grabbed a late consolation.
In the other match Brazil comfortably saw off the USA 10-0 with a hat-trick from the prolifilic Jose Guimaraes and another treble from Fabio Bordignon.
The BT Paralympic World Cup is taking place in Manchester from 22-26 May with elite international athletes competing in Athletics, Football 7-aside and Wheelchair Basketball. Go to www.btparalympicworldcup.com for tickets and more information.