In the last 24 hours Team Scotland has been in action in a trio of exhibition matches as they ramp up their preparations for the Commonwealth Games, which get underway on the Gold Coast on Wednesday 4 April.
Still in hard training at their preparation camp on the Sunshine Coast, Hockey, Lawn Bowls and Beach Volleyball have pitted themselves against local and international opposition and the signs are encouraging, with the Games just over a week away.
Up first were men’s and women’s Hockey, who took on strong Queensland outfits under the lights at Ballinger Park. The women got the action underway with a dominant display that at points looked like it would end without reward, until Camilla Brown found the back on the net in the final quarter to secure a 1-0 win.
The men also produced passages of quality hockey, but their opposition were both more clinical and more accustomed to the stifling 94% humidity. Alan Forsyth got on the scoresheet, but in the end Queensland ran out 3-1 winners. The two sides will meet again on Wednesday evening, when the Scots will be looking to reverse the result.
Down at Coolum Beach Bowls Club, Team Scotland’s Bowlers and Para-Bowlers were on fine form, making light work of adapting to the fast Australian greens. Taking on local side Sunshine Coast in the morning and an international select in the afternoon, both teams went unbeaten, to give them a confidence boost before they head down to Gold Coast tomorrow.
The day concluded in true Australian style with two twilight Beach Volleyball matches on the stunning Mooloolaba Beach, as the sport prepares to make its Commonwealth Games debut. The experienced pairing of Lynn Beattie and Melissa Coutts got the action underway in a best of three sets game against Team England, and they wasted no time in winning the first 21-13.
Roared on by boisterous Scottish support, which included the hockey and netball teams, the pair played some sublime volleyball, taking the second set 25-23 to seal the match and a morale boosting victory.
Of their performance Beattie said: “This is going to be really good preparation for us before we head down to Coolangatta next week. The Sunshine Coast Council have been fantastic and this has been an amazing place to train.
“We knew a couple of the girls were planning to come down to support us but that was just phenomenal. You hear from people who have been to the Commonwealth Games before and they talk about the ‘One Team’ and that’s what it was all about tonight.”
Rounding out the evening in front of a full-house were Robin Miedzybrodzki and Seain Cook. Inspired by their teammates’ performance they came out all guns blazing to win the first set 21-15. Their opponents, the Queensland Select, put up a good fight, but taking the second set by the same scoreline the Scottish pair were good value for their victory.
Elsewhere, Team Scotland’s boxers have been sparring against locals from Queensland and beyond, whilst Athletics and Basketball are all set for competitive action over the coming days.