Great Britain Women’s assistant coach James Ashton says this afternoon’s match with Billingham in the Under-20s Cup was so important ahead of the World Championship Division II Group A, which begins in Dumfries in just over a week.

Kim Lane scored for GB at Ice Sheffield in a hard-fought 3-1 defeat against a Billingham side who are top of the north league table this season.

Shannon Douglas was named player of the game for GB, while Nicole Jackson and Sam Bolwell shared the netminding duties.

Ashton said: “This was a good performance against a very good Billingham side.

“The coaching staff thought it was a very strong showing and we still have a number of players to return to the squad for Dumfries.

“Everyone worked so hard and you could see a fantastic spirit in the side. That is so great to see ahead of the World Championship.

“The team are looking forward to getting to Scotland now and fine-tuning our preparations ahead of our first game.

“The GB women’s programme would like to thank the EIHA and the various under-20s teams for their support with the games ahead of the World Championship.

“Without them, none of this top-class preparation would have been possible and we are very grateful.”

GB Women gather in Dumfries next Saturday and will play Solway U20s in a warm-up game on Sunday.

The six-team Division II Group A tournament takes place on home ice at the Dumfries Ice Bowl from 2nd to 8th April.

Britain will come up against Australia, DPR Korea, Mexico, Slovenia and Spain, with the group winners being promoted to Division I.