Elsewhere on day nine for Team Scotland…
Grace Reid smashed her personal best and was less than ten points off a medal in the final of the 1m Springboard at the Royal Commonwealth Pool in Edinburgh.
She showed power and control throughout her dive programme and improved enormously on one of her favoured dives, the Front 1½ Somersault 2 Twists, Piked where she scored 58.50, a leap of 13 points from this morning. Finishing 5th overall with 269.40 points Reid said: “Someone’s just told me that I was up and down that leader board like a yo-yo, but I had no idea. I shut myself away in my little bubble as I like to call it with my headphones on full blast.”
Asked if she was disappointed that she didn’t medal, having been in the Silver medal position going into the final round, Reid commented: “No way! I came into this wanting to get a PB. I’ve surpassed that and got a blooming good PB, so I’m very pleased. Knowing that I was up and down the leader board it doesn’t really matter. I take each dive on its own and I will take a lot of experience and knowledge away from this and know that there are still things that me and my coach Jen (Leeming) need to work on.”
When asked if she needs to increase her degree of difficulty on her last dive, the Back 1½ Somersault, Piked (DD 2.3) she said, “It’s just the way my list works out that I finish with an easier dive. If I start to feel nervous going into the final round I can relax into the dive. If I went for anything harder then I might not get on so well and get the result I got there.”
Reid returns tomorrow to compete in the 3m Springboard Preliminaries.
Day nine continued on a high with Kirsty Gilmore (Women’s Singles) and Imogen Bankier and Robert Blair (Mixed Doubles) making it through to the semi-finals of the Glasgow 2014 competition.
Gilmore showed excellent skill and determination to beat the sixth seed Michelle Chan of New Zealand 21-9 21-10. Mixed Doubles pair Bankier and Blair also beat the Canadian duo Derrick Ng and Phyllis Chan 21-11 21-7, taking them through to tomorrow’s semi-finals.
Commenting on the game Imogen Bankier said: “We did get off to a better start, which was a bit more comfortable. It was less tense for us and probably for all the spectators as well. Altogether pleased with the way we played, I think we were quite convincing and just looking forward now, we’re in the stage of the tournament where we really wanted to be. Now come the big games so just focussing on getting prepared for them tomorrow.
“I think to get through the first two and again come out today and perform convincingly, it gives us a bit of confidence. We are where we want to be, putting over the kind of performances that are going to matter.”
The pair will now go on to play English husband and wife, Chris and Gabby Adcock, a match Blair says will be tough but they are confident they can win: “Obviously it’s a hard game, they’ve had a good year or eighteen months together and had some good results but the one time we’ve played them, we beat them so that gives us confidence, we know their game plan and hopefully that will weigh on their minds a bit, throw a few doubts into their heads for the game. In a semi-final, when you’re playing for medals in front of a big crowd, it’ll come down to who’s going to perform best, control their emotions, control their performance”
Scotland top Men’s Singles player Kieran Merrilees was put out of the competition by his GB training partner Rajiv Ouseph. In the Men’s Doubles Paul Van Rietvelde and Robert Blair went out against Danny Chrisnanta and Chayut Triyachart from Singapore in a 8-21 16-21 defeat.
Tomorrow Bankier and Blair will be first on court for the Mixed Doubles semi-finals followed by Kirsty Gilmore in the Women’s Singles.
It was Scotland against Australia in the Squash Men’s Doubles quarter-finals tonight with both Scottish pairings facing Aussie opponents. And there were mixed emotions as the No.4 ranked Scottish pairing of Alan Clyne and Harry Leitch booked their place in the semi-finals whilst the curtain came down on the Commonwealth Games for eighth seeds Greg Lobban and Stuart Crawford.
Clyne and Leitch saw off seventh seeds Ryan Cuskelly & Matthew Karwalski 11-7, 11-5 in an impressive encounter in the glass walled show court at Scotstoun Sports Campus. With Leitch and Clyne in great shape, the latter showing no effects from three matches the day before, they quickly turned around an early four shot lead for the Australians, notching up eight points without reply.
Karwalski required treatment for a cut during the break and the Scottish duo soon cut through their opponents to close out the match, Leitch showing great power whilst Clyne’s finesse caught out the Australians on more than one occasion. “We got off to a terrible start,” said Leitch. “But even at 5-1 down, I don’t think we were worried as we knew if we kept to our game plan we would get back in it and that’s what happened. From then on in it was just a matter of doing what we’ve rehearsed over and over again. The crowd were unbelievable and when we got that run of points in the second game, we just wanted to keep on going.”
“There were a lot of long rallies and we said to each other that we needed to keep solid,” added Clyne. “We got the run of points after that, which was at a crucial time. I think we won the mental battle today, we’re happy with that.”
Before them, Lobban and Crawford put in a battling performance against the No.2 ranked David Palmer and hard-hitting Cameron Pilley. There was little to separate the sides in the first game, Scotland four times ahead before the Australians clawed their way back in, eventually taking the game 11-9, despite a series of Lobban shots which drew gasps of excitement from the crowds. Pilley not only hits hard, but has the height and reach to pick the ball out of the furthest corner and in the end, the second match just escaped the Scots’ grasp, going down 11-5.
Crawford said: “We got to the quarter-finals which is where we were seeded, but we desperately wanted to go further and pick up a medal. To be honest, that’s the best game of doubles we’ve put together in a year and a half. Once we take time to reflect, I’m not sure we’ll find that many things where we went wrong. We’re disappointed, but we couldn’t really have asked to perform any better on the day.”
Lobban, competing in his first Commonwealth Games, added: “The atmosphere was just amazing. When we won points the crowd were stomping their feet and between points the Mexican Wave was going, it’s nothing that I have ever experienced before. I think the most pleasing thing for me and Stuart was that we actually enjoyed our time on court. We were smiling away knowing we have a good relationship that is getting the best out of each other.”
The Men’s Doubles Semi-Finals take place tomorrow (Saturday) afternoon where Leitch and Clyne will look to better their fourth-place finish in Delhi, but face a tough test against the No.1 seed from England.
Team Scotland finished sixth in the Women’s Hockey competition following a 2-1 defeat to India at the Glasgow National Hockey Centre
Nikki Kidd had equalised for the Scots midway through the second-half after Anupa Barla had given India the lead shortly beforehand, but a well taken strike by Poonam Rani sealed the win, leaving the Scots in sixth position.
A dejected Scotland Head Coach Gordon Shepherd said, “Totally gutted. Sad for the players, we prepared well this summer for the target of the top four, which we believe was a realistic target we thought we could achieve. We know playing at this high international level that it’s small margins that make the difference, but sadly they went against us.
“The last two games were hard to take, the players against England were amazing and today they ran their hearts out, to just be on the wrong side of the one goal in the last two games was pretty tough. The players ran, they created plenty of opportunities but at this level the half chances are the ones that win your games and we didn’t take them, even though we had plenty of them.”
Scotland captain Linda Clement, who announced her international retirement after the match, summarised, “I feel quite flat after that, we were disappointed with our result against England the other day and after that game we needed to bounce back and finish on a high but we didn’t take our chances so it is a disappointing to end like this. It is very special to play at a home Games. When I reflect on it, it will be a very special experience playing in front of a home crowd. Glasgow has done a fantastic job but right now I feel disappointed but I thoroughly enjoyed the experience.”
Meanwhile, Team Scotland rounded off their participation in the Men’s Hockey competition against Malaysia tonight, losing 2-1 in their classification match to finish 8th overall.
Scotland captain Chris Grassick had given the home side a twelfth minute lead, only to be 2-1 down at the half-time interval thanks to goals from Malaysia’s Muhammad Shahril Saabah and Kazamirul Ahmad Nasruddin. Despite a valiant second half performance, the Scots couldn’t quite find the back of the net.
Following the match skipper Chris Grassick said, “Disappointed with the result, proud of how we played today and our last four games. We couldn’t have put in any more effort and couldn’t have tried harder, just disappointed where we have finished. We’re happy with the progress we have made, we had a respectable score line against Australia, we ran South Africa very close just losing 2-0 in the last seconds, we competed with India and beat Wales in that crunch game and delivered when it mattered. We have played to our ranking but we believe we can do better than that, disappointed with the result but as I say proud of the effort we put in today.
“The Games have been incredible I just don’t want it to end, for all of us it’s been the best week of our lives to play in front of a home crowd.”
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