England come up smelling Roses as netballers stun Australia to grab gold
By Ian Parker, Press Association Sport, Gold Coast
England saved their best gold medal of the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games until last as they shocked hosts Australia 52-51 in the netball final.
Helen Housby netted in the final second for Tracey Neville’s team as they knocked off the sport’s global superpowers.
“What a moment!” said coach Tracey Neville. “It was a dream as a player and I’m living it as a coach though these players’ eyes.”
England had spent much of the fourth quarter playing catch-up, and Neville admitted extra-time would not have favoured her team.
“If we had gone to extra-time I think we would have struggled,” she said. “The players were absolutely dead on their feet. Luckily a careless mistake, an obstruction, gave us a second chance at the goal.”
That gold helped take England’s final tally to 136, with 45 gold, second in the table to Australia. For England, this is the second highest number of gold medals at an overseas Games behind the 46 won in Auckland in 1990.
Scotland and Wales have also set new records for an overseas Games. Wales have won 36 with 10 golds, while Scotland have 44 total medals, nine of them gold.
Scotland’s hopes of gold in the men’s marathon ended in dramatic and concerning fashion as Callum Hawkins collapsed while leading in the final stages of the race.
The 25-year-old had to wait several minutes before receiving medical attention, forcing organisers to defend their protocols.
Hawkins was taken to hospital and Team Scotland issued an update to say there were no major concerns for his well-being, but the incident ultimately overshadowed the bronze won by his team-mate Robbie Simpson as Michael Shelley won the race for Australia.
John Smith and Simon Lawson took silver and bronze respectively for England as Australian Kurt Fearnley won the men’s T54 marathon, while Jade Jones picked up bronze for England in the women’s event.
The day began with badminton gold for England’s Chris and Gabby Adcock, who defended the title they won in Glasgow with victory over team-mates Marcus Ellis and Lauren Smith.
They were made to work for it though, rallying to win 19-21 21-17 21-16.
Ellis rebounded as he won gold in the men’s doubles final alongside Chris Langridge, seeing off Indian pair Satwik Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty 21-13 21-16.
Daryl Selby and Adrian Waller had to settle for silver as they lost to Australia in the final of the men’s doubles squash, going down 11-9 3-11 11-6 to Zac Alexander and David Palmer.
James Willstrop and Declan James took bronze with an 11-9 11-9 win over Scotland’s Alan Clyne and Greg Lobban 11-9 11-9 for bronze.
In the women’s doubles, Sarah-Jane Perry and Laura Massaro missed out on bronze as they lost 11-6 11-8 to Australia’s Rachael Grinham and Donna Urquhart.
England’s men and women picked up bronze medals in the rugby sevens, with the men coming from 14-0 down to beat South Africa 21-14 while the women held on to beat Canada 24-19.
England’s Liam Pitchford and Ho Tin-Tin had to settle for silver in the mixed doubles of the table tennis, while Samuel Walker lost 4-1 to Sharath Achanta in the singles bronze medal match.
Scotland came up short of an upset win over New Zealand in the bronze medal game of the men’s basketball, with the Tall Blacks pulling clear late on to win 79-69.