Gold for Garry Brown and Kevin Wallace, a record-breaking bronze for Alex Marshall and Paul Foster, plus an emotional bronze in the pool for Ross Murdoch were the Scottish highlights on Day Five at Birmingham 2022.
Kevin Wallace and Garry Brown celebrated with gusto as they won the gold medal in the Men’s Para Lawn Bowls B6-B8 Pairs final against Australia. It was a blistering performance that saw the Scots duo take charge from the outset and win the match 16-7. Both have previous Games experience: Wallace at Glasgow 2014 and Brown at Gold Coast 2018 and have been in exceptional form throughout the tournament. They kept that momentum to land on the top step of the podium and take Team Scotland’s third gold of the Games.
Earlier Alex Marshall and Paul Foster had won the bronze medal in the Men’s Pairs, running out comfortable winners over Northern Ireland, 25-5. Scotland dominated from the third end and the teams shook hands after the fourteenth end to give Scotland the victory. Marshall, having sat level on five gold and one silver with cyclist Neil Fachie after the latter’s exploits earlier this week in the velodrome, now claims back the mantle of most successful Team Scotland athlete of all-time. Foster, with four gold, one silver and one bronze draws level with sprinter Allan Wells in third.
Foster and Marshall were back in action alongside Stewart Anderson and Darren Burnett as the Men’s Fours got underway with win against Malta. Meanwhile, Melanie Innes and Robert Barr with their guides George Miller and Sarah Jane Ewing kept their 100% win rate intact with a 16-9 win over England in the Para Mixed Pairs B2/B3. The Scots remain at the top of their group and will play Wales tomorrow.
Iain McLean also got started in the Men’s Singles with a 21-5 victory over Chris Locke of the Falkland Islands while Claire Johnston and Hannah Smith in the women’s pairs got off to a winning start over Fiji. It was an opening day flyer for the Women’s Triples with a comprehensive 25-5 win over Botswana, but lost to the Cook Islands 24-13.
Over at the Sandwell Aquatics Centre there was a second bronze medal of the Games for Ross Murdoch in the 50m Breaststroke, and barely a dry eye in the house after an outstanding swim from the Scot who was in lane 8. Competing at his fourth Commonwealth Games, Craig McNally finished 7th in the 200m Backstroke. Keanna MacInnes was quick out of the blocks in the 200m Butterfly as she finished 7th in a fast final. There was also an 8th place in the Women’s 100m Breaststroke for Kara Hanlon.
Fourth place for Toni Shaw in the SM10 200m Individual Medley was an impressive feat, swimming a category above her usual classification, while Commonwealth Games debutant, Ollie Carter entered the field of play proudly donning his parade kilt, finishing 7th in his S10 100m Butterfly final.
To round off the evening it was a first outing for the Mixed 4x100m Medley Relay team featuring Craig McNally, Ross Murdoch, Keanna MacInnes and Lucy Hope – who took 6th, recording a Scottish record in the process.
On the first day of athletics competition, Kirsty Law finished in 7th place in the Women’s Discus final, this was the health assistant’s second Games, bettering her result from 11th at Glasgow 2014. Andy Butchart ran a gutsy 10,000m in front of packed and very loud crowd, finishing in 7th place.
Adam Thomas had the biggest grin on his face as he was the first Scot to take to the athletics track, qualifying comfortably with 10.30 for the men’s 100m semi-final this morning. Alisha Rees had a fast 100m heat and had the agonising wait before confirmation that her time of 11.36 was enough to take her through as the fastest non-automatic qualifier.
Nick Percy, the Scottish record holder, qualified comfortably in the Men’s Discus throwing over 60m. Laura Muir qualified for the women’s 800m final in second place, but it wasn’t to be for the other two Scots. Commonwealth Games debutant Jenny Selman picked up a niggle earlier on in the week and she ran a gutsy 800m with a stacked field but it wasn’t enough to qualify. Unfortunately, Jemma Reekie also did not qualify, finishing a frustrating third in her heat, but she will go again in the women’s 1500m.
At the NEC, Agata Herbert kicked-off day five for Team Scotland with an admirable Commonwealth Games debut where she lifted a total of 199kg in the Women’s 76kg final and finished in 7th place overall. Matty McHale then faced a confident opponent from Barbados in the Men’s Bantamweight Boxing round of 16, but the Edinburgh fighter edged a split decision after knocking him down in the third. An outstanding first round stoppage of Jamaica’s Daniel Hylton followed, with Tyler Jolly landing a devastating body blow within seconds. Despite an exceptional second quarter, Scotland’s Netball team couldn’t match the quality of their classy Jamaican opponents, and a third Pool Match at these Games ended 34-78.
It was the last of the action for Artistic Gymnastics today as the second day of apparatus finals got underway in Arena Birmingham. Both Hamish Carter and Frank Baines were competing on the Horizontal Bar, having qualified in seventh and eighth place, respectively. Hamish finished in sixth place with 12.433 points, and Frank in eighth with 11.9 points.
Both sides of Smithfield saw Scottish action today as there were bronze medal matches for both the Men’s and Women’s Wheelchair 3×3 Basketball teams. The Men’s game against Canada kept spectators on the edges of their seats with the North Americans taking the lead in the first two minutes, and Scotland five points behind at the halfway mark. A nail-biting two free throws in the last 40 seconds meant Kyle Jimenez brought the scores almost level but Canada stayed just that one point ahead and the Scots lost 12-13 to end the competition in fourth place, replicating their Gold Coast 2018 standing.
Shortly after the Men left the court, the Women’s Wheelchair team tipped off against England. It was tit for tat in the first half as the teams stayed level, but the hosts took the lead in the sixth minute and didn’t let it go. Despite two points in quick succession in the seventh minute and four missed free throws for England with single digits on the clock, Scotland couldn’t quite make up the gap and ended with a 12-10 loss. They finished fourth, an admirable spot for the team in this para-sport’s first appearance at a Commonwealth Games.
On the other side of the Smithfield compound, the Women’s Beach Volleyball team was also playing against England on the sand. The sets were tightly contested between both teams, but a few too many errors on Scotland’s side meant the hosts took a 2-0 win (21-17, 21-15). The women will be back in action against Solomon Islands on Thursday.
Only one competitor was in action in Judo, with Billy Rodman unfortunately exiting the Men’s -78kg competition in the round of 16.